Average price of bottle of wine in UK reaches new high thanks to Brexit
The average price of a bottle of wine in the UK has hit new heights, smashing through the £5.50 barrier for the first time to reach £5.56. And this average has risen more in the past 12 weeks than it has in the last two years, according to the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) in its annual market report.
The impact of Brexit, which has seen the the value of the pound plummet and push up the cost of imports leading to rising inflation, has led to a 3% increase on wine prices in the 12 weeks to the beginning of 2017. This compares to a mere 1% increase in the two years between 2015 – 2017. And for UK consumers, there is worse news to come, warns the WSTA, as these figures do not take into account the the 3.9% rise on alcohol duty imposed by the Chancellor in the March Budget, adding another 8p to the average priced bottle of wine.
Last October the WSTA warned that consumers should expect imported wine from the EU to go up an average of 29p a bottle as a result of Brexit.
“Last year the WSTA predicted that Brexit and the fall in the value of the pound, compounded by rising inflation, would force the UK wine industry to up their prices,” said Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA. “Sadly this is now a reality as an average priced bottle of wine in the UK is at an all-time high. Unfortunately, for both British businesses and consumers, we are clear that this is not a one off adjustment, but rather that wine prices will continue to rise.
“We all know that Brexit will be complicated, but something has got to give and government must start showing its support for the UK wine industry and the 275, 000 jobs that our industry supports by tackling our excessive duty rates at the Autumn Budget.”
More than half (56%) of the money that UK consumers spend on a bottle of wine, the equivalent of £2.16, goes on wine duty. And it is an even heftier hit on sparkling wine, at £2.77.
Other EU countries have it much easier. Fourteen countries in the EU have zero rates for wine and therefore only 21% of a bottle of wine sold in France or Spain is taken up in tax and 19% in Germany.
The UK is at the centre of the global wine trade accounting for nearly 15% of the world’s wine imports. It is also the second largest trader by volume (behind Germany) and by value (behind USA), cementing its role as a key international player. It generates £9.5bn to the Exchequer including £4bn in duty and contributes to the public purse more money than any other alcohol category.
The averaged priced bottle of wine sold in the UK each quarter over two years: