All exporter countries recognise the importance of establishing a strong home base, one that they can fall back on should factors such as currency fluctuation negatively impact overseas shipments. So figures just released by the Cava marketing board will undoubtedly have caused concern, even though the board’s chair sought to project an upbeat image.
A statement released by the Consejo Regulador revealed that 243 million bottles of cava were sold in 2012, a 3.2 million-bottle rise on 2011. The overall increase of 1.5%, however, was driven solely by exports, which rose by 6% to 161 million bottles. Conversely, the domestic market fell by 6.3% to 81 million bottles. According to Gustavo Garcia Guillamet, chairman of the marketing board, although the domestic market continues to fall, the rate of decline slowed in 2012 compared with the previous year (-9%). Garcia Guillamet claimed that considering the economic situation worldwide, 2012 figures are “an excellent result”. Certainly Cava is still the leading exporter DO in Spain with exports reaching a new record. The strongest growth abroad came from countries such as the United Kingdom – second largest importer of Cava with 35.9 million bottles (+12.5%) – Japan (+33%/7.3 million) and France (+17.5%/5 million bottles). Belgium also showed good growth at +7% to 25 million bottles and emerging markets over-performed with increases of 64% in Russia, 50% in China and a more modest 9% in Brazil. The United States, however, dropped slightly, by 1% as did Germany (-2% to 39.4 million bottles).