Raw Cork Production
Cork is harvested exclusively from the Cork Oak, Quercus suber, found predominantly in the Mediterranean region. Though the tree can flourish in many climates, the conditions that favor commercial use are fairly narrow. The major cork producing nations are listed below.
|Country||Forest Area Hectares||% of Worlds Forest Area||Production Tons (000)||% of Total Production|
Uses of Natural Cork
Cork is used in a variety of products - from construction materials to gaskets and most importantly - as a stopper for premium wines. The cork industry employs an estimated 30,000 workers in a variety of jobs.
Wine corks are the most visible and most profitable of the many products derived from cork. In Portugal. they account for approximately 25% of total production by weight and 72% of cork revenues.
The following table displays a comparison of the different segments of the cork industry based on Portuguese estimated revenue in 2015.
|Industry Segment (Portugal)||Value in Euros (millions)||% of Total Value|
|Wine Stoppers||€ 644||72%|
|Building Materials||€ 228||25%|
|Raw Materials||€ 9||1%|
|Other Products||€ 18||2%|
Wine Stoppers - Worldwide Estimates
Worldwide cork production is estimated to be slightly less than 13 billion wine stoppers per year. The estimate includes agglomerated cork stoppers and champagne corks.
Natural Wine Stoppers - Domestic Market (USA)
The Domestic market shows steady growth, with estimated usage of natural corks exceeding 1,200 million this year. The market continues to expand with the growing premium segment of the U.S. wine market. Growth in the market is estimated at 7% annually.
|USA Cork Stopper by Type (million Euros)|