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Italy wine exports reach record 6 bln euros in 2017
Last Updated: 2018-01-04 00:00 | Xinhua
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Italian wine exports totaled a historic record of 6 billion euros (7.22 billion U.S. dollars) in 2017, Coldiretti farmers' federation reported Wednesday.

The 7 percent rise in exports occurred in spite of a meager grape harvest and a 26 percent drop in bottles produced compared to 2016, Coldiretti said in a statement.

The biggest jump in 2017 exports (47 percent) was posted in Russia, where wine is "one of the few agricultural and food products not affected by the embargo," Coldiretti said.

Russia was followed by China at 25 percent, Britain at 8 percent, the United States at 6 percent, and Germany at 3 percent.

In spite of the drop in production, Italy was still the number one producer in the world with 40 million hectoliters, Coldiretti said.

The farmers' association, which according to its website has 1.6 million members throughout Italy, said the 2017 harvest was among "the most precocious and the scantiest" since World War II.

Temperatures throughout the country rose 3.2 degrees Celsius above the national average last summer, while rainfall dropped by 55 percent in June compared to the average in previous years, according to the farm ministry.

The wine sector in Italy employs 1.3 million people and involves 200,000 businesses with vineyards stretching over 650,000 hectares, according to Coldiretti.

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