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California | BRIEFLY / THE ECONOMY

U.S. Wine Exports Increased 20% in 1998

April 20, 1999|Reuters

U.S. wine exports rose 20% to 72 million gallons in 1998, largely because of increased demand for premium wines overseas, an industry group said. The San Francisco-based Wine Institute said the value of U.S. wine exports climbed to $537 million in 1998, up 26% from $425 million the year before. Britain remained the largest foreign market for U.S. wine last year, importing 16.8 million gallons, a 31% jump over 1997. Surging past Canada to second place on the list was Japan, which imported 13.8 million gallons of U.S. wine--double the 6.9 million it imported in 1997. The Wine Institute noted that exports to Japan rose sharply despite that country's ongoing economic woes. The institute said export markets were most interested in California brands.

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