The FINANCIAL -- Verdict: FactCheck concludes that Otar Danelia’s statement is TRUE.
Resume: In accordance with the National Wine Agency of Georgia’s data, 76.7 million bottles (0.75 litre) of wine were exported from Georgia in 2017 which is 54% more as compared to the figure for 2016. In the accounting period, income received from wine export reached USD 170 million which is 49% more as compared to the same figure for 2016.
As of the first six months of 2018, a total of 38.2 million bottles of wine have been exported with income exceeding USD 90 million. These figures surpass the previous year’s figures by 21% and 28%, respectively.
Of note is that Russia still remains the largest importer country of Georgia’s wine – 62% of the total wine exports are destined to Russia.
At the session of the Parliament of Georgia, Otar Danelia, Chair of the Agrarian Issues Committee, underlined the increased volume of Georgia’s wine export and stated: “Wine export in 2017 was quite voluminous. More than 76 million bottles were exported. This is unparalleled in the history of independent Georgia.”
In accordance with the National Wine Agency LEPL’s data, 76.7 million bottles (0.75 litre) of wine were exported to 53 countries in 2017 which is 54% more as compared to the figure for 2016. In 2017, wine export amounted to USD 170 million in revenue. The growth constitutes 49% as compared to the same figure for 2016.
Growth of wine export is notable as concerns the following countries: China – 43% (7,585,407 bottles), Russia – 76% (47,778,920 bottles), Ukraine – 46% (8,502,554 bottles), Poland – 15% (2,676,440 bottles), Latvia – 20% (1,505,138 bottles), Belarus – 56% (1,827,130 bottles), USA – 56% (457,920 bottles), Germany – 38% (404,538 bottles), etc.
The top markets for Georgia’s wine exports are: Russia – 62.2%, Ukraine – 11%, China – 9.8%, Kazakhstan – 4.3% and Poland – 3.4%. In 2017, nearly 250 companies exported wine from Georgia.
For this year, in accordance with the National Wine Agency’s data, 38.2 million bottles (0.75 litre) of wine were exported from Georgia to 48 countries in 2018 which is 21% more as compared to the same period of 2017. The total value of exported wine is USD 90.3 million. In this aspect, growth constitutes 28% as compared to the same period of the previous year.
As of January-June 2018, growth in wine export was notable as concerns the following countries: Japan – 200% (130,628 bottles), the Czech Republic - 134% (30,456 bottles), Kyrgyzstan – 81% (140,370 bottles), South Korea – 78% (31,650 bottles) and the Netherlands – 68% (38,799 bottles).
The top five largest importer countries of Georgian wine are as follows: Russia – 62.8%, Ukraine – 10.9%, China – 7.8%, Kazakhstan – 4.3% and Poland – 4.1%.
Table 1: Wine Export in 2010-2018, Million Bottles (0.75 litre)
Source: National Wine Agency
Graph 1: Wine Export in 2010-2018 (USD Million)
Source: National Wine Agency
In the last years, the growth or decline in the export of Georgian wine has largely depended on the Russian factor. This happened in 2013-2014 when wine export increased significantly because Russia revoked its trade ban on Georgian wines in June 2013. A total of 37,615,052 bottles of wine were exported to Russia in 2014 which constituted 63% of the total export. In 2015, it was the Russian factor again that contributed to a decrease in Georgian wine export. In 2015, export of wine to
Russia decreased by 51% and to Ukraine by 56%, accounting for a total decline of 39% in Georgia’s wine export.
Russia is quite an unstable market for Georgia’s wine export. This is sufficiently demonstrated by the fact that Russia’s Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) published a statement a week ago that some Georgian wines and alcoholic beverages failed to meet quality standards according to testing done by the Service. As a result of this, 16,000 litres of Georgian alcoholic beverages were denied entrance into Russia. The statement also says that oversight on alcoholic products imported into Russia will become stricter.
Therefore, it is true that Georgian wine is exported to more and more countries every year and it is gaining footholds in new markets but there is still work to do in order to increase publicity for Georgian wines and popularise them further which will make for less dependence upon unstable markets such as Russia.