Grapevine & Wine 05/11/2012

Less wine for everyone: world production back to levels of 1975

A jump back mainly due to reductions registered in the European Union, decreased of 9% compared to 2011. Italy is better than the EU average and France. Remains high, however, the grow rate of vineyards in the southern hemisphere and the United States

The world area under vines continues to decrease. I's the result of the report on the 2012 global economic vitiviniculture situation by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).
Certain OIV member countries indicated a reduction in their vineyards between 2011 and 2012. The three-year period during which the European Union (EU) offered permanent abandonment premiums for the vineyard has ended, but nevertheless a further decline has still been recorded.
At the same time, the growth rate of planted areas in the southern hemisphere and the United States remains positive, despite a slowdown in the overall rate.
These cumulative reductions in the surface areas of Member States are one of the effects of low EU production levels. Furthermore, climate conditions over the past year have had a significant influence on the expected 2012 production level.
In 2012, world wine production (excluding juice and musts) ranges between 243.5 and 252.9 million/hl (248.2 Mhl mid-range estimate). This is a very low wine production level, not seen since at least 1975.

The USA would record a growth in 2012 wine production, compared with its modest 2011 production (20.55 Mhl excluding juice and musts, as opposed to 19.19 Mhl which is: +7.1 %).
South Africa would achieve a wine production of 10 Mhl in 2012, which is +3.6% /2011.
In Oceania, expected 2012 production for Australia is increasing, and that of white wines in particular should reach 11.55 Mhl (+4.1%/2011). If this result is confirmed, and this situation is combined with a large reduction in the vineyard, this production level may be considered as significative.
Ultimately, among the major EU wine producing countries, only the 2012 production forecasts of Portugal and Greece are up, but in comparison to modest 2011 wine production volumes.
In terms of the EU, the forecasts of the main producing countries were down significantly compared to 2011. After 5 modest harvests in succession, an exceptionally low 2012 harvest, which has decreased by 7402 mhl between 2007 and 2011.
Italy would record a fall of 3% in the mid-range estimate, but this is compared with an already very low 2011 production (40.5 Mhl against 42.3 in 2011). In France, a large decrease is expected (-19%, which is 9.3 Mhl/2011). In both these countries, 2012 production levels will therefore be historically low and close to 40 Mhl.
In Spain, in early October the forecast was reported at 35 Mhl, wines, juice and must included. The uncertainty lies in the quantity of must and juice, which according to the information available could fall from the usual levels of 5 to 6 Mhl to 3.5 Mhl. This hypothesis would cause the Spanish wine production at 31.5 Mhl to decline by only 6%/2011.
For the other countries where information is provided, wine production forecasts show a significant fall of between -16% in Bulgaria and -32% in Hungary. The only notable exception is Germany (-3%/2011).
Consequently, the total EU-27 production, valued at 141.2 Mhl (excluding juice and musts), records a significant decline of 14.3 Mhl which is -9%. This is a historically low level.
In South America, the situation is very uneven; Chile would achieve a new record with 10.6 Mhl (+3.8%/the high production in 2011), while Argentina with a 2012 wine production of 11.78 Mhl (-23.9% / 2011) would record a production slightly lower than that of 2009.
In Oceania, 2012 production in New Zealand fell, but this is in comparison to the record production of 2011. Nevertheless, it remains high (1.94 Mhl).

With regards world wine consumption, the changes result in 2012 world wine consumption ranging between 235.7 and 249.4 Mhl.

di Graziano Alderighi