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On 19 April 2017, at the plenary session of the Parliament of Georgia, the member of the Parliamentary Majority, Otar Danelia stated in his speech: “China has made a significant progress and at the present moment it is ranked second in terms of volume of imports of the Georgian wine. The export of the Georgian wine to China has increased fourfold. As of today, 15 million bottles of wine have already been exported and of that amount 2 million bottles were exported to China.”

FactCheck

took interest in the accuracy of the aforementioned statement.

According to the information

of the National Wine Agency of Georgia, 14 million bottles of wine were exported in January-March 2017, which is 85% more as compared to the same period of the previous year. Total cost of the exported wine constitutes USD 32.2 million, which is 77% more as compared to the same period of 2016.

Table 1:

 Wine Exports Statistics (2011-2017)

Years USD Thousand Growth/Decrease %
2011 54,086 -
2012 64,827 20
2013 128,299 98
2014 180,401 41
2015 95,795 -46
2016 113,496 16
2017 (January-March) 31,338 64
Source: National Statistics Office of Georgia

As illustrated by the Table 1, according to the information of the National Statistics Office of Georgia, wine export figures have been growing annually in 2011-2015. In 2015, wine export dropped by 46%. From 2016 onward, trend of growth has been kept in place.

Of note is that among Georgia’s export partner countries, China occupies the second position, with 13% share (1,794,000 bottles) of total wine exports in January-March of 2017, which is 383% more as compared to the figure registered in the same period of the previous year.

In regard to volume of the Georgian wine exported to Chinese market in 2016, 5,299,149 bottles of wine were exported to China in 2016, which is 98% more as compared to the figure of 2015. In 2016, China’s share of total Georgian wine exports was 11%.

Table 2:

 Largest Export Markets of the Georgian Wine (Bottle of Wine)

Countries 2015 2016 2017 (First Quarter)
Russia 18,308,177 27,222,076 8,987,745
China 2,672,154 5,299,149 1,794,200
Ukraine 3,412,453 5,811,050 1,305,508
Poland 1,600,302 2,329,820 561,294
Kazakhstan 5,195,949 3,393,435 473,515

As illustrated by the Table, top five largest export markets for Georgian wine are Russia, China, Ukraine, Poland and Kazakhstan.

Conclusion

In January-March 2017, in total 14,199,018 bottles of wine were put on export. Among the export partner countries, China is ranked second. In the first quarter of this year, 1,794,000 bottles of wine were exported to China, which is 13% of total wine exports and 383% higher as compared to the figure registered in the same period of the previous year. Of note is that Georgian wine export bound for the Chinese market has been growing annually.

FactCheck concludes that Otar Danelia’s statement is TRUE.