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Nigeria wine imports from U.S., Spain drop to N154.1bn

Restriction placed on trade establishments as part of measures to combat coronavirus pandemic affected wine importation into Nigeria in 2020. The country took delivery of N154.1billion ($314.6million) wine as at December 2020 from five countries as against the annual imports of $1.2billion, leading to a 63 per cent fall in import.

Data by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) revealed that Nigeria imported $136.66million from United States. Also, United Kingdom exported $31.1 worth of wine into the country; Spain, $20.96million; Brazil, $16million and South Africa , $15.7million. However, USDA noted while spirits constituted about 30per cent of the market for alcoholic beverages in the country, beer led with 55per cent with wine making up the remaining 15per cent.

The GAIN estimate noted that 75per cent of the spirits consumed in Nigeria were locally made, while imported spirits accounted for $500million of the total value of spirits consumed between 2019 and 2020.

The global network platform further explained that the United States, European Union (EU) and South Africa were the leading suppliers to Nigerian market despite the restriction. In 2018, a report by a Londonbased market research firm, Euromonitor International, noted that the importation of quality spirits had put pressure on local distillers in the country despite the local brands being cheaper.

It was noted that locally produced alcohol brands in Nigeria were lower in quality, branding and do not meet the standard in the growing alcoholic beverage market. The research firm also explained that many drinkers were seeking a healthier alternative to beer and spirits by shifting to wine. It stressed that there was a growing patronage of wine in Nigeria compared to the growth experienced in other alcoholic drinks categories.

It said that the Nigeria and nine others had imported $1.61billion wine from Califonia alone in 2019. Importation volume from fortified wine and vermouth, nongrape wine, sparkling wine, still light grape wine, was up 4.1per cent from 2018 to 461 million liters in 2019. Also, data from the Wines of South Africa (WOSA) revealed that about 3.44million bottles were imported by Nigerian traders yearly.

The body noted that the total volumes of wines sold in Nigeria were forecast to grow by 12per cent last year. According to WOSA, South Africa was the second biggest exporter with 12 per cent by volume share, nting that importation of food and beverages from European Union (EU) by Nigeria has reached 1.22billion euro within one year. It was further gathered that consumers had shifted from champagne to cheaper wines due to its expensive nature as USDA noted that the total volume sales of wine would return to minor growth in 2022. A few years ago, GAIN reported that average wine consumption per capita jumped from 0.1 liters to more than 0.4 liters within 2004 and 2010. Still wine (red and white) category led the market—accounting for a share of more than 80 percent. Local wine processing is underdeveloped and highcost.

Nigeria’s large and increasing population (over 150million), increasing health consciousness and upward social trends are assisting growth in wine exports to Nigeria. The EU, South Africa and other suppliers offering good quality and inexpensive wine products are the leading suppliers. Export growth of U.S. wine to Nigeria is astronomical (from $120,000 to $2.7m) between 2008 and 2010 but market share remains small. U.S. exporters are encouraged to exploit opportunities provided by the increasingly large wine demand to boost U.S. food and agricultural exports to Nigeria.

“In Nigeria, alcoholic beverages are considered a type of food and alcohol consumption is mostly a social activity. With population, over 150 million, Nigeria provides a large market for alcoholic beverages estimated at $4.0 billion.

Nigeria’s beer market was worth $2.7 billion (about 70% of total alcohol market) in 2009 representing over 15 million hectoliters of beer (lager and stout types) brewed locally by multi-national processors (Heineken, Guinness, South Africa Breweries, and a few small others). They are brewed mostly with imported barley, malt and hops,” the report noted.

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