spirits Europe

spiritsEUROPE launched their Trade Review Report for 2023 highlighting that 2022 was an exceptional year for EU spirits exports, however there are headwinds ahead in 2023 due to high inflation, rising production costs, and growing geopolitical tensions. For Europe’s spirit producers, EU trade policy has a critical role to play to support trade diversification, increase resilience, and help the sector sustain and create jobs and growth in rural areas.

spiritsEUROPE is the representative body for the spirits industry at European level comprising 31 associations and 11 international companies.


“2022 was an exceptional year for EU spirits exports and once again demonstrated the importance of international trade as a driver of growth for our sector.” Pauline Bastidon, Director of Trade and Economic Affairs at spiritsEUROPE

“But this exceptional performance has come under threat, as high inflation and rising production costs are starting to impact exports to key markets such as the US, while growing geopolitical and trade tensions risk to affect our exports to emerging markets”.

“During times of crisis, the temptation can be to turn inward. However, EU trade policy needs to maintain a proactive, outward focus, as diversification – not protectionism or unilateralism – is our best bet against the growing volatility and tensions that we see on the horizon”, she added.

EU Spirits Exports by Category 2022

International trade remains critical for European spirits: over 60% of EU spirits exports in value were destined for third countries in 2022. Many of these were protected by Geographical Indications (GIs) and EU spirits exports still have substantial growth potential. By removing trade barriers & promoting the high quality of our products abroad, EU spirits will be able to seize new market opportunities worldwide.

EU Spirits Exports in 2022

The reopening of the hospitality sector & travel and tourism in most regions of the world, together with dynamic growth in Asia and the return to tariff-free trade with the US, led to an exceptional recovery for EU spirits’ exports in 2022.

The Top 3 Markets for EU spirits in 2022 were:

  1. USA (€3.77 billion)
  2. China (€875 million)
  3. UK (€788 million)

Other high growth regions include ASEAN (€915 million), Sub-Saharan Africa (€514 million) and LatAm (€393 million).

High Growth region Latin America LatAm EU Spirits

The suspension of retaliatory tariffs on EU spirits in the US, and US spirits in the EU, has boosted transatlantic trade in spirits. The US remains the biggest trading partner for the European Union in spirits, with exports worth €3.77 billion in 2022.

Notwithstanding the COVID crisis, China, which is the biggest spirits market in the world, has remained a stable and open market for EU spirits, with a growth of exports in value of 76% in ten years. 2022 was no exception, with exports reaching €875 million, establishing China firmly in second position amongst EU spirits top export destinations.

consumption of domestic vs imported spirits in China 2022

The ASEAN region is already a key area of focus for European spirits exports. 3 ASEAN countries – Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia – already feature in EU spirits top 20 list of export markets, with total exports reaching €915 million in 2022.

share of EU exports in ASEAN markets

For more information on the High Growth regions and to access the full spiritsEUROPE Trade Review 2023 report – please click here: spiritsEUROPE Trade review 2023- Final.

spiritsEUROPE advocates that a stable and predictable relationship with major trading partners needs to go hand in hand with a strong focus on emerging markets, supported by new EU Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), closer regulatory cooperation and trade diplomacy, robust enforcement and an active promotion policy.

“With 85% of economic growth worldwide forecasted to take place outside of Europe in the next decade, an ambitious EU trade policy and the conclusion of new FTAs are a must. And let’s be clear: deeper trading relationships can deliver much more than just economic benefits.” Ulrich Adam, Director General of spiritsEUROPE

“Modern-day FTAs can act as agents for sustainable change and contribute to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by encouraging higher production standards and more sustainable practices worldwide”.

As part of the launch event, spiritsEUROPE handed over a joint statement (click on link to access the joint statement) with the Brazilian Spirits Trade Association (ABBD) and the Brazilian Institute of Cachaça (IBRAC) to H.E Pedro Miguel da Costa e Silva, Ambassador of Brazil to the EU, calling for a swift conclusion of the EU-Mercosur Agreement before the end of the year.



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