While the giddy announcement last week that U.S. wine exports have increased is good news for American vintners, a closer look at the data merits a more cautionary outlook.
When the numbers are taken in context, foreign imports are still outpacing U.S. exports with the result that 2011 showed the third worst trade imbalance in the past decade.
On the other hand, the per-liter deficit between imports and exports is but a fraction of what it was a decade ago
According to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. International Trade Commission (adapted by Donald Hodgen/International Economist/U.S. Department of Commerce), America’s wine trade deficit has recovered slightly from the decade’s worst years of 2006-2007, but still remains chronically high.
EXPORT TO IMPORT PER-LITER DEFICIT IMPROVING
One encouraging aspect is the increasing price per liter of wine imported from the U.S. After spiking through the middle of the decade, import per-liter prices were virtually the same in 2011 as in 2001. U.S. wines, by comparison have risen approximately 70% in the last 10 years, drastically reducing the per-liter deficit.
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US EXPORTS BY DOLLAR
US IMPORTS BY DOLLAR
US EXPORTS BY VOLUME
US IMPORTS BY VOLUME