Wine output lowest in 60 years

Global wine output fell to its lowest level in 60 years in 2017 due to poor weather conditions in the Europe that slashed production, the international wine organisation has said.

Wine production totalled 250 million hectolitres last year, down 8.6% from 2016, data from the Paris-based International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) showed.

It is the lowest level since 1957, when it had fallen to 173.8 million hectolitres, the OIV said. A hectolitre represents 100 litres, or the equivalent of just over 133 standard 75 cl wine bottles.

All top wine producers in the EU have been hit by harsh weather last year, which lead to an overall fall in the bloc of 14.6% to 141 million hectolitres. The OIV’s projections, which exclude juice and must, or new wine, put Italian wine production down 17% at 42.5 million hectolitres, French output down 19% at 36.7 million, and Spanish production down 20% at 32.1 million.

The French government said last year production had hit a record low due to a series of poor weather conditions including spring frosts, drought and storms that affected most of the main growing regions including Bordeaux and Champagne.

In contrast, production remained nearly stable in the US, the world’s fourth-largest producer, and China, which has become the world’s seventh largest wine producer behind Australia and Argentina.

Trends were mixed in Latin America, with a rise of 25% in Argentina after a very low production in 2016 and a decline of 6% in Chile.

Global wine consumption edged higher at around 243 million hectolitres in 2017, up 1.8% from a year earlier.

The US confirmed its position as largest world wine consumer with 32.6 million hectolitres, followed by France at 27 million. Chinese wine consumption rose significantly for a third year in a row with an increase in 2017 of 3.5% at 17.9 million hectolitres.

On the export market, Spain remains the largest exporting country by volume with a global market share of 20.5%, while France keeps its leading position in value with €9bn of wine exported last year.

In total, global exports totalled 107.9 million hectolitres in 2017, up 3.8% on the previous year, and €30bn in value, an increase of just over 5% on 2016.

Hard-hit regions include those producing Rioja and prosecco, which make large quantities of the affordable wines sold in British and Irish outlets, The Guardian newspaper reported last month.


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