Sally Stening, Klaus Kilov, Larry Lockshin and Tony Spawton The UK is a major market for many wine-exporting countries. Negligible local production and rising per capita consumption provide an expanding market for wine producers and shippers alike. Throughout the 1990s the UK market grew by nearly 4 per cent per year. Although consumption is lower than in southern European countries, the UK is one of the key countries where per capita consumption of wine continues to rise, signalling further growth prospects for successful exporters. At a time when many countries’ wine production outstrips their consumption, markets such as the UK become increasingly important. Not only is growth in market volume encouraging to exporters, but increases in the market value show that the average price paid for a bottle of wine also continues to increase. Euromonitor’s 1999 report shows that over the 1998/99 period, when volume grew 5 per cent, market value grew at 6 per cent (at current prices). This is indicative of previous years, which have also seen growth in market value outpace growth in market volume. Historically, UK wine merchants were instrumental in the development of wine regions such as Bordeaux and the Douro. UK consumer and merchant demands for a system of quality control have shaped wine laws in other parts of Europe, thereby influencing wine production in EU exporting countries. More recently, UK multinational drinks companies have come to influence the global wine industry through their acquisition of wine producers in numerous countries around the globe....
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