UPTURNS AND TWISTS
As we see harvest approaching again and update our listings to your importers, it’s a good time to reflect on the last 6 months. Our shipments (all of you fine wineries taken as a group) are up slightly year-on-year, which is most encouraging. One big factor keeping our exports competitive is the weakening U.S. dollar. Since the beginning of the year, the Euro has gained roughly 12% against our currency. The Japanese Yen has gained back roughly 6% since then, halting the steep decline it saw at the end of 2016, a change reflected in other Asian currencies like those of Taiwan and Singapore. This really helps when importers are deciding what to focus on.
And so far the protectionist trade measures threatened by the current administration have not been realized—a good thing for those of us who want to sell our products abroad.
We also know that the generous crops of 2014 have been on offer from you, and that 2015s or even 2016s are coming around and are in many cases much smaller. I know each of you has your own contingencies of supply, and that you will consider what you can do to protect the export markets you’ve opened. I also realize that we are all facing increasing production costs and scarce labor supplies, facts which I regularly try to explain in the most diplomatic terms to your importers. I relate the distinctions each of you offers in your wines, so any materials you can send our way help enormously in that endeavor.
Kind regards from all of us: Michael, Ellen, Nan, and Kirsten