World facing wine shortage

31 October 2013

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31 October 2013 | Will Green

A global wine shortage could be approaching as worldwide production last year plummeted to its lowest level in 40 years.

Researchers at Morgan Stanley said demand for wine exceeded supply by 300 million cases in 2012 and “data suggests there may be insufficient supply to meet demand in coming years”.

In a report, the firm said global inventories have dropped by almost 700 million cases since 2006, as production has fallen back in the biggest wine producing countries of France, Italy and Spain, primarily due to poor weather conditions. 

The total global area under vine is also reducing by around 2.5 per cent a year, driven by vine removal in Europe, although China is expanding its vineyard footprint. 

The UK is the world’s second largest importer of wine by value, behind the US, but France continues to be the biggest consumer of wine, followed by the US.

The report said: “In the short term, inventories will likely be reduced as current consumption continues to be predominantly supplied by previous vintages. As consumption turns to the 2012 vintage, we expect the current production shortfall to culminate in a significant increase in export demand, and higher prices for exports globally. Further growth in consumption, in the meantime, may exacerbate the shortage when it comes through.”

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