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Argentina versus Chile in the wine business: they reveal which of the two countries wins the fight

From statistical data from the International Organization of Vine and Wine it can be established who weighs more in this key industry.


Argentina and Chile are the most important wine producing and marketing countries in South America. And both countries are among the ten most important in the world in terms of cultivated area of vines, processing and exports of wine,” say the National Institute of Viticulture (INV).

But who wins the “arm wrestling” between these two big South American producers? Faced with this doubt, the INV itself says that, “contrary to what is believed, Argentina surpasses Chile in this industry”, according to studies carried out by the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV)data from the INV and the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture.

In this context, Martín Hinojosa, president of the INV, affirmed that “our country has a very wide and diverse market, sending its products to more than 130 destinations in the world, but with a very important share in the local market, which means around 70% of our sales”.

Argentina versus Chile in the wine business

According to the INV report, in 2021 the cultivated area of vine in Argentina was 211,100 hectares and that of Chile, 193,000. With regard to marketing, the data also indicate that Argentina sold more wine than Chile.

The total marketed by Argentina was 1,174 million litres, while Chile marketed 1,029 million. That is 145 million litres more (+14%).

For overseas sales, the wine industry contributed a foreign exchange income of more than $1.2 billion in the last year.

From the INV they stated that “although Chile exported more volume than Argentina, the trend indicates that the sales of our country grow at a higher rate than our neighbor, mainly since 2017 in which Argentina exported the lowest volume of the last 9 years”.

In this regard, they stressed that Argentina has exported 6.7% more wine in the last year than in 2013 while Chile decreased by 1.6% compared to the same year.

In terms of value, both countries increased exports in 2021 compared to 2020 although in different proportions, Argentina increased by 6.4% and Chile by 4.4% foreign exchange income, added from the INV.

To these data, the entity adds another key data: historically, Argentina has obtained a higher average price than Chile in the external market.

“Argentina exported in 2021 66% of the total volume as fractionated wine, at an average price of 3.73 dollars per liter. And Chile, in the same year, exported 57% of the total volume as fractionated wine, obtaining an average price of 3.30 dollars per liter,” they said.

As for varieties, exports from Argentina were led by Malbec, with 50% of the total and 64% of the varietals. While Chile exported wines with DO, mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and Carménère.

Faced with these figures, the head of the INV said that “the challenge is to continue growing in both markets (internal and external) for which we must consider increasing the production of quality grapes, advance in product innovation, packaging and promote wine tourism, to complete the virtuous circle of industry”.




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