MAJORCAN vineyards are enjoying an export boom with international demand for the local wine growing rapidly.
During the first 10 months of last year, Majorcan wine exports grew by 33 percent. 306'375 litres of wine was shipped overseas compared to 203'895 exported during 2006, and demand is continuing to grow.
Traditionally, Majorca's main export market has been Europe, but last year EU exports fell by 10 percent.
However, Majorca's vineyards have found a number of new growth markets, Japan being the latest.
Last year, 172'343 litres of wine were shipped to European Union countries while the remaining 134'132 litres were exported to non-EU countries, in particular the United States and Korea, as well as Japan, and this year, the new emerging markets are expected to tip the balance. In 2006, only 10'934 litres of local wine was sold to non-EU markets.
Pere Calafat, President of the Binissalem Wine Board, said that one of the reasons for the decline in EU exports is the recession in Germany, the principal European importer of Majorcan wine.
However, he said that while the wine industry is working hard to recuperate its market share in Germany, Majorcan vineyards are also enjoying a great deal of success in opening new trade routes.
Last year the first cases of Majorcan wines were exported to Japan and demand has continued to rise steadily.
Calafat added that established markets, such as the United States, Switzerland and Korea have also continued to flourish.
But, Pla de Llevant wine board inspector Miguel Feliu is not quite as optimistic.
He said that vineyards will not enjoy a similar growth in exports this year and that wine production on the island last year fell by between 12 and 20 percent, depending on the region, although there was a good harvest.