Grapevine & Wine 05/12/2011

Stable wine production despite the fall in the world vineyard

Production levels remain stable internationally, but with contrasting internal
trends. Wine production fell significantly in Greece, Italy and Portugal. France becomes again the top wine-producing country

The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), the intergovernmental reference organisation for everything related to vine-based products, unveiled its report on the global economic vitiviniculture situation for the first ten months of 2011.
Federico Castellucci, the OIV Director General, presented the economic data available at the end of October 2011, in order to provide an estimate of the trends in the areas under vines as well as the level of wine production worldwide.
The world vineyard area experienced a decrease that could reach 60 mha (7.8 Mha). By zones, the EU is most affected by this phenomenon, since the reduction in its vineyard could be between 50 and 55 mha (-1.4%/2010; 3570 mha). Furthermore, in the Southern Hemisphere and the USA, the rate of surface area growth has slowed, compared with what was observed around 2000.
In terms of production, in 2011 the total figure for wines (excluding juice and musts) was between 264.3 and 275.2 million hl (269.8 Mhl mid-range estimate). The largest falls were in Greece, Italy and Portugal.
The EU experienced its 5th consecutive low harvest (from 2007 to 2011 inclusive) broadly equivalent to that of 2010 with a mid-range estimate at 158.2 Mhl (excluding juice and musts). Nevertheless, this observation must be put into perspective, since over the last 3 years; the area under vines has gone from 3792 to 3626 mha, which is a fall of approximately 165 mha of vines.
Internationally, production remains stable, but with contrasting internal trends. For example, the United States saw its production decrease significantly by 18.74 Mhl (- 10.3 %/2010). Chile achieved a record level with 10.6 Mhl (+15.5%/2010) and New Zealand saw a new production record with 2.3 Mhl (+23.2%/2010).
With regard to world wine consumption, there are 2 possible scenarios: a high hypothesis (a moderately upward linear trend in world consumption in volume is regained) and a low hypothesis (marked by a renewed economic crisis, the 2011 consumption level will once again record a downward trend compared with the provisional level of 2010).

di Ernesto Vania