World wine output to fall to lowest in 60 years

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PARIS – World wine production is expected to fall to its lowest level in 60 years in 2023 due to poor harvests in the Southern Hemisphere and in some major European producers, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) said on Tuesday.

In initial projections, the OIV pegged world wine output, excluding juices and musts, at between 241.7 million and 246.6 million hectolitres, with a mid-range estimate of 244.1 million hectolitres.

This would be 7 per cent lower than in 2022 and the smallest since 1961 when it had fallen to 214 million hectolitres, the OIV said. A hectolitre is the equivalent of 133 standard wine bottles.

“This negative scenario can be attributed to significant declines in major wine-producing countries in both Hemispheres,” the OIV said in a statement.

“While in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, and Brazil recorded year-over-year variations between -10 per cent and -30 per cent, in the Northern Hemisphere, Italy, Spain and Greece are the countries that suffered the most from bad climatic conditions during the growing season,” it said.

OIV expects Italian wine production to drop 12 per cent to 44 million hectolitres, its lowest level since the poor harvest of 2017.

The tumble means Italy will lose its position as the world’s largest wine producer, with France set to reclaim the number one spot for the first time in nine years.

Drought-hit Spain kept its position as the third-largest wine producer despite its production set to fall to the lowest in the last 20 years, down 14 per cent fall in output from last year and down 19 per cent on the five-year average.

The sharp fall in Italian and Spanish production would lead to a 7 per cent drop in EU output in 2023 at 150 million hectolitres, the third-lowest production level since the beginning of the century.

US wine output, the world’s fourth largest, was expected at 25.2 million hectolitres in 2023, an increase of 12 per cent from 2022.

Cool temperatures and heavy winter rains in the Napa and Sonoma regions brought much-needed moisture to the vines after several years of drought, the OIV said. REUTERS

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