Global wine production sinks to lowest level since 1961 | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 24.10.2017
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Global wine production sinks to lowest level since 1961

Worldwide wine production is set to drop 8.2 percent from last year’s amount, the lowest level for almost 60 years. Harsh weather in Europe was to blame for the dip, but production in the Southern Hemisphere was up.

Extreme weather conditions in the key European wine producing countries of Italy, France and Spain this year has contributed to the lowest levels of wine production since 1961, the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) announced on Tuesday.

In Italy production slumped 23 percent to 39.3 million hectoliters (mhl), while in France the drop was 19 percent to 36.7 mhl. Production in Spain fell 15 percent to 33.5 mhl, according to the Paris-based OIV, an intergovernmental organization that provides scientific and technical advice on vines and wine.

There was better news for wine-producing countries in the Southern Hemisphere, with Argentina recording a 25 percent increase to 11.8 mhl after a poor year in 2016, and Australia producing 13.9 mhl, up 6 percent on 2016.

California wildfires changing the picture?

The United States, the fourth -largest wine producer in the world, is forecast to have bucked the trend among wine producing countries in the Northern Hemisphere, with only a 1-percent slip in production on 2016, but these forecasts were made before wildfires ravaged California's two top wine-producing areas: the Napa Valley and Sonoma County.

In South Africa, production was steady at 10.8 mhl, but Chile slid alarmingly to 9.5 mhl. China produced 11.4 mhl in 2016 but no data was available for 2017.

There are fears that reduced global production, which is expected to fall to 246.7 mhl by the end of the year, could diminish a surplus over demand seen in recent years. This could in turn affect prices as actual market supply becomes increasingly dependent on stocks from previous years and the availability of quality wines from landmark regions.

mds/hg (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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