ASIA/EUROPE – With spirits consumption in Europe slumping, the spirits industry needs to look at increasing trade with high-growth export markets such as China, India and Southeast Asia, says trade association spiritsEUROPE, which is calling on the EU to work on a trade strategy that will help European distillers better access the Asian market.
According to a recent report released by spiritsEUROPE - “Growth driver: trade, trade, trade” – spirits exports have on the whole doubled over the last decade. However, spirits exports have been declining slightly since 2012 due to several factors, including slowing GDP growth in emerging economics, an uneven recovery in developed countries, and rising geopolitical tensions.
In spite of that, data from Eurostat in 2014 indicate that spirits are still the largest food exports from EU, contributing almost EUR10 billion last year.
The US, Singapore, and Russia have historically been the biggest export markets for European distillers, accounting for EUR3.3 billion, EUR800 million and EUR600 million in export sales respectively. Singapore is commonly used as the re-export base for many products, re-exporting to other neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia.
spiritsEUROPE says the “perspectives for (European) spirits growth are clearly outside the EU”.
“With declining consumption in the European Union, external trade represents a vital driver of growth for European distillers,” the trade association said in its report. “In that context, an assertive EU trade policy is crucial for the future of the sector.”
It singled out China, India, Thailand, Vietnam and Brazil as “untapped markets with huge potential”.
For example, 99% of spirits consumption in China – which has a 10% tariff - is from domestic products. Only 1% of Indian spirits consumption is of imported products, 5%....
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