Bad weather hits global wine production, but the pandemic has caused people to stock up

PARIS: Global wine production could fall this year to one of its lowest levels on record due to severe weather in Europe, while demand is expected to return to near levels before the coronavirus pandemic, said Thursday an international wine body.

In early projections for 2021, the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) pegged global production at between 247.1 million and 253.5 million hectoliters (mhl), with an average estimate at 250.3 mhl.

This would mark a third consecutive year of below-average production and approach the 2017 level of 248 million hectolitres, the lowest in six decades, the OIV said.

One hectoliter is equivalent to 133 standard bottles.

Lower production in Italy, Spain and France, the world’s biggest wine producers, would outweigh what is expected to be the highest volume ever recorded in the southern hemisphere, the OIV said.

Western European vineyards were hit by spring frosts, while French growers also suffered heavy rain, hail and mildew.

Global consumer trends were encouraging, with first-half data suggesting a rebound despite continued disruptions to tourism and hospitality related to the coronavirus pandemic, the OIV said.

“We still expect global consumption to increase compared to 2020,” Pau Roca, director general of the OIV, told reporters, noting that first-half trade data showed volumes above pre-COVID-19 levels. pandemic.


Western European vineyards were hit by spring frosts, while French growers also suffered heavy rain, hail and mildew.

The shift to online sales has also helped the wine industry during the pandemic, he added.

However, an expected drop in Chinese demand could limit an annual increase in consumption to around 2% this year compared to a 3% drop in 2020, the OIV said.

In the European Union, production is expected to fall to 145 million hectolitres, down 13% from last year, he said.

In the southern hemisphere, favorable weather conditions should allow high production in the main producing countries, with the exception of New Zealand, the OIV said.

Total Southern Hemisphere production was projected at a record 59 million hectoliters, up 19% from last year.

US production is expected to rise 6% from last year to 24.1 million hectoliters, although summer drought in some regions is expected to keep volume below the five-year average.

The body did not give a production forecast for China in 2021 due to a lack of harvest data, but said it expected a structural decline since 2016 to continue.

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