News / Economy

    World Wine Output Hit by Weather, EU Curbs

    View of the Chateau de Laubade's vineyards in Sorbets, southwestern France, Aug. 24, 2012.
    View of the Chateau de Laubade's vineyards in Sorbets, southwestern France, Aug. 24, 2012.
    Reuters
    ​Global wine production fell sharply last year due to bad weather in Europe and a recent policy to drain its "wine lakes," while Chile and United States saw a jump in harvests, according to a report on Thursday.

    A vineyard is seen along a road in Mendoza Feb. 1, 2013. Argentina is the world's 6th largest wine-producing country, according to the U.N.A vineyard is seen along a road in Mendoza Feb. 1, 2013. Argentina is the world's 6th largest wine-producing country, according to the U.N.
    x
    A vineyard is seen along a road in Mendoza Feb. 1, 2013. Argentina is the world's 6th largest wine-producing country, according to the U.N.
    A vineyard is seen along a road in Mendoza Feb. 1, 2013. Argentina is the world's 6th largest wine-producing country, according to the U.N.
    The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) said world production was down around 6 percent in 2012 at 251 million hectolitres (Mhl), a level it described as very low. European Union output fell 10 percent to 141 Mhl, with France suffering a drop of nearly 17 percent after a good harvest in 2011.

    "We had a difficult year 2012, mainly because of a sharp drop in production, but trade flows mostly held stable," OIV Director General Federico Castellucci told reporters, referring to total wine exports which were stable at 101 Mhl after a long-term upward trend.

    The EU policy of digging up vines to end years of surpluses had lead to a reduction of 269,000 hectares between 2008 and 2011, well above the targeted 175,000 hectares, contributing to a recent rise in prices, Castellucci said. Rising consumption also helped push prices up.

    "This meant tightness on the market and we need to be careful because once a market is lost it is hard to conquer it back," he said, pointing to higher prices for bulk wines, used to make liquors such as brandy and vermouth or vinegar.

    Prices for French bulk red wines gained seven percent between August and February, while bulk white wines rose 30 percent, data by French farm office FranceAgriMer showed.

    A new configuration

    A manager looks at wines at the Marco Polo restaurant at the Grand Intercontinental Hotel in the Gangnam area of Seoul, South Korea, Oct. 2, 2012.A manager looks at wines at the Marco Polo restaurant at the Grand Intercontinental Hotel in the Gangnam area of Seoul, South Korea, Oct. 2, 2012.
    x
    A manager looks at wines at the Marco Polo restaurant at the Grand Intercontinental Hotel in the Gangnam area of Seoul, South Korea, Oct. 2, 2012.
    A manager looks at wines at the Marco Polo restaurant at the Grand Intercontinental Hotel in the Gangnam area of Seoul, South Korea, Oct. 2, 2012.
    French exports rose six percent to 15 Mhl, but Italy and Spain, the world's two largest wine exporters by volume, which also had a poor crop although not as bad, saw their exports fall seven and 13 percent respectively to 21.5 and 19.1 Mhl.

    Chile, the largest South American producer which had a record output in 2012, saw a 13 percent rise in exports to 7.5 Mhl. South African exports were up 17 percent to 4.2 Mhl, with sales to Britain jumping 50 percent.

    This meant that the share of the top five European producers - Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Portugal - in world exports fell to 62 percent, from 65 percent last year, to the benefit of South America as well as the United States whose crop jumped seven percent last year, the OIV said.

    Wine consumption increased 0.6 percent last year to 245 Mhl, mainly helped by China and the United States, the OIV said.

    Chinese consumption rose nine percent to reach 17.8 Mhl, leading to a total rise in consumption since 2008 of 27 percent, with local output supplying the bulk of the additional demand. Imports only accounted to 0.3 Mhl of the 1.5 Mhl rise recorded in 2012.

    "There is a slightly new configuration here. The Chinese start either to make the wine themselves or to import wine from countries where they have companies - it's still a small number but not minimal anymore," Castellucci added.

    An increasing number of Chinese wine lovers have purchased French chateaux in the past years, keen to ship the wine home and turn their new properties into tourist resorts.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.9098
    JPY
    USD
    105.75
    GBP
    USD
    0.7631
    CAD
    USD
    1.3189
    INR
    USD
    67.209

    Rates may not be current.