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Georgian wine export issues

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, October 21
The Ministry of Agriculture reports that there are 218 registered wine producers in Georgia but only around 160 are actually functioning. Of these 35 are completely export oriented but Georgia’s share of the world wine market is very insignificant. The leading wine producing countries are France (18% of consumption), Italy (17%), Spain (12%) and USA (10%). Georgian wine accounts for 0.3% of the global market. Furthermore since 2006 and the Russian embargo Georgian wine exports have considerably decreased because the largest share of Georgian wine exports traditionally went to Russia.

In 2009 the Georgian wine export figures are not very encouraging; in the first quarter of 2009 Georgia sold over 2 million bottles but in the same period of 2008 it sold over 3 million. Analysts say the decrease is due to the financial crisis, particularly in Ukraine which has become the biggest importer of Georgian wine since the Russian embargo.

The second and third biggest importers of Georgian wine are Belarus and Kazakhstan. Exports to these countries show a more encouraging trend. Furthermore in 2005 Georgian wine entered new markets, such as China (50,000 bottles), Sweden (40,000 bottles) and Kyrgyzstan (39,000 bottles). Nevertheless the overall export figures are lower this year than last, even though the number of domestic markets Georgia can access is increasing.