Global wine production drops as adverse weather takes its toll
Poor weather conditions took its toll on worldwide wine production last year, with volumes dropping by 3.2% in total according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). Argentina, Brazil, France and Hungary were amongst those countries hit particularly hard.
France’s output tumbled particularly heavily, by 3.5 million hectolitres (mhl) and Argentina, the world’s ninth biggest wine producer, recording a drop in output of 3.9 mhl.
South America’s grape harvests were badly effected by the El Nino weather phenomenon, as well as high levels of humidity, according to OIV director general Jean-Marie Aurand.
Brazil saw its production levels slump by 55%, while production also dropped sharply in Argentina (9.4mhl) and Chile (10.1mhl)
Drought in South Africa took its toll on the country’s wine volumes, which were down by 6%.
However, despite the smaller harvests, the world’s total wine growing surface remained stable at 7.5 million hectares.
China increased the total area of its vineyards by 17 kha, while wine growing areas dropped in Portugal (by 9kha) and Turkey (17kha). In Europe only the Italian area under vines grew (up by 8.2kha), while Spain remains the leader in terms of the cultivated surface area with nearly a million hectares more than China (0.85mha ) and France (0.79mha).
Italy, France, Spain, China and Turkey account for more than half of the world’s total vineyard size between them, with Italy maintaing its position as the world’s leading wine producer with 50.9 mhl, followed by France (43.5mhl) and Spain (39.3mhl).
As for consumption, a worldwide total of 242 million hectolitres was drunk last year, a slight increase on 2015, but still well below levels recorded before the 2008 economic crash hit consumption levels.
The US held onto its position as the world’s biggest wine consumer since 2011 at 27mhl, followed by France (27mhl), Italy (22.5mhl), Germany (20.2mhl) and China (17.3mhl). A significant decrease in Hungary, Argentina and Romania was compensated for by a rise in consumption in the US, China and Italy. Consumption in France and Spain, meanwhile, remained stable.