Farm Ireland

Friday 19 January 2018

Could the world be facing a wine shortage?

The demand for wine worldwide is not slowing down, but harvests have no kept pace
The demand for wine worldwide is not slowing down, but harvests have no kept pace
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Global wine production looks set to be back significantly this year, according to a new report.

Rabobank is predicting that as the finishing touches are put on the Northern Hemisphere harvest, overall global wine production is going to be back as global weather patterns hits production and a structural trend in global vineyard investment.

It says that all-in-all, wine production will fall well-short of levels required to meet global consumer demand and estimated requirements for industrial alcohol manufacture.

Wine harvests in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia and New Zealand, were larger, while production fell sharply in Chile, Argentina and South Africa.

When taken together with the US harvest, which is expected to be up on the previous year’s small harvest but no bigger than average, wine production from the major new-world wine-producing countries will be more than 10% lower compared to both the prior year, and the rolling three-year average.

And, in Europe, the wine harvest is expected to fall. France will see its production levels most acutely hit, where frost and hail damage early in the growing season have been matched with hot and dry conditions that prevailed across much of Southern Europe through August and September.

Meanwhile, the demand for wine is not ceasing – especially Rabobank says for higher quality wines.

China is back as one of the world’s largest importers of wine, after a couple of sluggish years, and North American demand is following a steady upward trajectory, while European demand has remained ‘indifferent’, the report says.

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