Israel's wine exports grew 6% to $39 million in 2015, the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute said ahead of the 2016 Sommelier Wine Exhibition opening today in the Culture Palace in Tel Aviv, where 80 wineries are displaying their wares. The Export Institute added that despite last year's larger export volume, the money value of exports actually slipped 3% in 2015, due to the weakness of the euro.
An analysis by the wine industry and the Export Institute economic unit shows that most of the increase in Israel's exports of wine and other alcoholic beverages were to Asia; the wine sector's exports to Asia rose 16% to $2.6 million, while exports to North America grew 8% to $25 million. Exports to the European Union were down 18% to $10 million, which the Export Institute attributed to the euro crisis.
According to Export Institute figures, Israel has 300 wineries, 60 of which are commercial. Most of Israel's wineries are boutique and garage wineries small businesses producing a few thousands of bottles a year. The local wine market's annual turnover is NIS 1 billion, with exports totaling 40 million bottles a year, plus 10 million more bottles of grape juice. 20% of output is for export.
Export Institute wine and fresh produce manager Yaara Shimony said, "Israeli wines have gained global recognition in recent years from many international parties. Last year's boom in exports to Asia, where the kosher wine market is negligible, shows the global progress of the Israel wine brand. Israeli wines can already be found in places like Hong Kong, Japan, and China, in contrast to the past, when exports in this sector focused mainly on demand for kosher wine among Jewish communities worldwide."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 26, 2016
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