Life Eat & Drink Climate sees world wine output fall to 60-year low

Climate sees world wine output fall to 60-year low

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Poor weather in wine producing regions is being blamed for the drop in output. Photo: ABC/Wine Australia
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Global wine output dropped to its lowest level in 60 years in 2017 due to poor weather conditions in the European Union that slashed production in the bloc, an international wine organisation says.

Wine production totalled 250 million hectolitres last year, down 8.6 per cent 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 told Reuters.

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 led to an overall fall in the bloc of 14.6 per cent to 141 million hectolitres.

The OIV’s projections, which exclude juice and must (new wine), put Italian wine production down 17 per cent at 42.5 million hectolitres, French output down 19 per cent at 36.7 million and Spanish production down 20 per cent 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 United States, 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 per cent in Argentina after a very low production in 2016 and a decline of 6 per cent in Chile. Global wine consumption edged higher at around 243 million hectolitres in 2017, up 1.8 per cent from a year earlier.

The United States 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 per cent 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 per cent, while France keeps its leading position in value with 9.0 billion euros ($15 billion) of wine exported last year.