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Cava wine sales abroad grow by 2.07% in 2011

The total amount of sales of the Catalan wine fell by 2.14% last year, due to poor results in the domestic market. The record of 152 million cava bottles sold abroad does not compensate for the fall at home.


22 February 2012 12:01 AM


ACN / Josep Ramon Torné

Barcelona (ACN).- Sales of cava, the Catalan sparkling wine similar to champagne, fell by 2.14% in 2011 compared to the previous year. However, international sales increased by 2.07% last year, as announced on Tuesday by the President of the Cava Regulatory Council, Gustavo Garcia Guillamet. Garcia Guillamet said to have been surprised with the overall drop in sales, since during the first nine months of 2011, cava sales had increased by 2.9% compared to the same period in 2010. However, the bad results in the domestic market especially in the last quarter of the year completely changed the results. Nonetheless, Garcia Guillamet stressed that international sales of cava reached an historical record, with more than 152 million bottles sold abroad, a 2.07% increase compared to the 2010 results.

Cava producers had a turnover of \u20AC935 million in 2011, 9.2% less than in 2010, when the turnover was \u20AC1.031 billion. The Spanish market totalled \u20AC347.7 million, while international sales represented revenues of \u20AC587.8 million. The average price of a bottle of cava fell to just under \u20AC4. Garcia Guillamet stressed the great effort cava producers have made in 2011 to adjust their prices in order to avoid a greater sales drop.

Garcia Guillamet said that in 2010 an absolute sales record had been reached, in order to explain the fall in sales in 2011. Over the last number of years, sales of cava have not been so much linked to the Christmas season in Spain. However, in the past 50% of all sales were made in the last quarter of the year. Recently the percentage has decreased to 40%. However, domestic sales in the last quarter of 2011 represented only 34% of the total for the year in Spain, due to the economic slowdown.

Cava producers sold 239.56 million bottles in 2011, which represents a 2.14% decrease compared to 2010. Out of the total amount of bottles, 87.31 million were sold in Spain, which represents an 8.71% drop compared to 2010 figures. The remaining 152.25 million bottles were sold abroad, which represents a 2.07% increase.

Garcia Guillamet believes that the boycott by several groups of Spanish consumers of Catalan cava from 2005 onwards \u201Cis over\u201D, but \u201Cfingers crossed it doesn't happen again\u201D. According to Garcia Guillamet, the small amounts of cava consumed in some areas of Spain (such as in Castilla) is \u201Ca matter of consumption habits\u201D. Catalonia and Aragon consume 45% of all the cava sold in Spain.

Germany continues to be the main import market

International sales already represent the largest part of Catalan cava sales. Germany tops the foreign market list. More than 40 million cava bottles were sold in Germany, a 1.7% decrease compared to 2010 figures. In second position was the United Kingdom, with almost 32 million cava bottles (-0.9%) and in third place was Belgium, with 23 million bottles, with a significant 10.2% increase compared to 2010. The list continues with the United States, with more than 17 million of bottles (0.8%), Japan with 5.5 million bottles (-4.8%) and France, with more than 4 million bottles and an 8.2% increase compared to the 2010 figures. \u201CExporting cava to France disserves a special mention, since it is the world\u2019s main producer of sparkling wine\u201D, Garcia Guillamet pointed out.

Furthermore, emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia or China have significantly increased their import volumes, with growths beyond 40%. However, the number of bottles sold is still small compared to more traditional markets in Europe.

The Catalan Minister for Agriculture, Stockbreeding, Fishing, Food and the Environment, Josep Maria Pelegrí, attended the 2011 results presentation. Pelegrí said that the particularly good results reached in 2010 have made 2011 appear less significant. However, he celebrated the export record despite the total economic context. \u201CAgriculture in general, and the cava sector in particular, have an anti-cycle economic element\u201D. He also stated that Catalonia\u2019s wine sector is \u201Cvery alive\u201D.


  • Freixenet workers packing cava bottles (by ACN)

  • Freixenet workers packing cava bottles (by ACN)