For the past several months, exports of the Georgian wine to Russia and Ukraine have sharply reduced. Winemakers hope that the situation will improve with time, but the statistics are still showing its further deterioration.
According to General Director of Shuhman Wines Nutsa Abramishvili, the fall in exports is seen due to the economic problems in the region. “The crisis, which was caused by the devaluation of the ruble in Russia and military operations in Ukraine, of course, hit the exporters, including winemakers. At the same time, we are increasing our exports to more sustainable and stable countries, which is a condition for market diversification. It is a correct policy both by the state and the individual companies “- she says.
She also expressed hope that after a relative stabilization of the ruble, exports will begin to grow, which is of great importance for the economy of Georgia. “Last year, exports to Russia amounted to several million dollars, which was very important for the economy. As for Ukraine, we are dealing with a long-term problem, and now to predict anything is very difficult.
Of course, it is necessary to master alternative markets, but it is very difficult to do in the short term, since the Georgian wine is not well-known globally, and it has to fight for its place in the market with brands that sell their wine dozens, if not hundreds of years “- says Nutsa Abramishvili. At the same time, in her words, if the Georgian wine is able to establish itself among the world’s wines, it will be a great prospect for the wine, and not only. It will also promote the growth of awareness of the country and the growth of its international image, “- she adds.
Zurab Ramazashvili, Director of Telavi Wine Cellar, also considers the main difficulty to be the situation on the Russian market. He believes that most likely the situation will not be resolved in the short term. “It is very difficult to correct anything in the short term. Demand in Russia is quite high, but because of the economic uncertainty, sales of wine fell, especially Georgian which is quite expensive. It is impossible to predict how events will unfold in the future.”
“We certainly want to increase exports to Russia but this year it is likely impossible. In parallel, we are trying to step up sales in other countries – we are very interested in China, as well as the Baltic states, Poland, the United States. We started working in Japan and Korea,”- the businessman notes. He says, in 2015 the company has sold 4.5 million bottles of wine and this year sales decreased by 30%.
According to the National Wine Agency, in January-May 2015 exports of wine decreased by 54% compared to the same period in 2014 mainly due to the decline in sales in Russia and Ukraine. In particular, exports to Russia decreased by 70%, to Ukraine – by 57%. Overall, in total 10 455 407 bottles of wine worth $ 30 151 030 have been exported to 31 countries in the first 5 months.