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Cava wine sales down by 0.77% in 2013 – milder decrease than previous years

International sales of Catalonia's sparkling wine Cava have amounted to 241.3 million bottles in 2013, 0.77% less than the previous year. The President of the Cava Regulatory Council, Pere Bonet presented such figures in a press conference on Tuesday. Bonet linked this decrease with the current economic context and recalled that other regions producing sparkling wine had registered sharper declines, for instance Champagne with a 2% drop. The Spanish market, accounting for one third of Cava sales, has performed better than in previous years and only fell by 0.47%. On the other hand, sales in the foreign market, which had increased every year since 1980, registered a 0.92% decrease in 2013.

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18 March 2014 08:52 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- In 2013, International sales of Catalonia's sparkling wine Cava have amounted to 241.3 million bottles, 0.77% less than the previous year. The President of the Cava Regulatory Council, Pere Bonet presented such figures in a press conference on Tuesday. Bonet linked the decrease with the current economic context, unfavourable to luxury items, and said he was “optimistic” about the 2013 sales which achieved a milder drop than previous years. He also recalled that other regions producing sparkling wine had registered sharper declines, for instance Champagne with a 2% decrease. The Spanish market, accounting for one third of Cava sales, has performed better than in previous years and only fell by 0.47%. On the other hand, sales in the foreign market, which had increased every year since 1980, registered a 0.92% decrease in 2013.


The export volume of Cava has amounted to 159.9 million bottles, representing two thirds of the sales of the sparkling wine, mostly entirely produced in Catalonia (in the Provinces of Barcelona and Tarragona). The President of the Cava Regulatory Council, Pere Bonet, stressed that with such figures, cava remained the world leader in the export of quality sparkling wine produced in a traditional manner.

Germany, the UK, and Belgium are the main target markets

Germany is still the leading target market in the world, with 40.2 million bottles purchased last year, representing a 2% increase on 2012. It is followed by the UK and its 30 million bottles, which however registered a 16.76% decline. In third place comes Belgium, with 27 million bottles purchased, amounting to a 9.56% increase.

Behind these three major markets are the United States (17 million bottles and a 3.61% increase), Japan (7.7 million bottles and a 5.48% increase) and France (5.4 million bottles and a 9.73% rise). They are then followed by smaller markets, under the 3 million bottle mark, such as Switzerland, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden.

“If there has been a boycott, it has not further advanced” says Bonet

Bonet referred to the effects of the Catalan independence claims on Cava sales in the rest of Spain, notably to the boycotting threat of Catalan products in other Autonomous Communities.  “It's hard to say, but ever since the idea of a boycott first emerged [back in 2005], there was an impact on the internal market. There was a decrease in sales that have not yet recovered, added up with the economic crisis of recent years” said the President of the Cava Regulatory Council.

Nevertheless, Bonet said he was “optimistic” about the 2013 sales, as the negative trend has evolved from “significant” drops to a 0.47% decline. Therefore, he explained that “if there has been a boycott, it has not further advanced”.  The Food and Drink Industry Director General at the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Fernando Burgaz, added that the boycott was now “minimal”.

Further strengthening exports and sales within Catalonia

During the presentation of the latest figures, the Catalan Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Food and Environment, Josep Maria Pelegrí, stressed that exports should be consolidated as one of the main strategies of Catalan Cava. According to Pelegrí, exports have allowed the sparkling wine to remain strong despite the economic crisis, and should be further encouraged.

The Catalan Minister also referred to the interior market, which has been on a downward trend for the past years. “We have to make a joint effort to increase the consumptions of Catalan Cava in Catalonia, which is a market that we cannot abandon”, he explained.

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  • Josep Maria Pelegrí (left) and Pere Bonet (right) presenting the 2013 cava figures (by J. R. Torné)

  • A vinyeard in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, one of the main towns producing Cava (by S. Sabaté)

  • Josep Maria Pelegrí (left) and Pere Bonet (right) presenting the 2013 cava figures (by J. R. Torné)
  • A vinyeard in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, one of the main towns producing Cava (by S. Sabaté)