2017 world wine production falls, while Aus production grows

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World wine production, excluding juice and musts, is likely to reach 246.7 millions of hectolitres (mhl) in 2017, according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine.

This figure, an 8 per cent drop compared with 2016 and one of the lowest levels for several decades, reflects unfavourable climate conditions in the major Western European wine producing nations, Italy, France, and Spain.

Closer to home, In Oceania, 2017 Australian production reached a sustained level of 13.9 mhl, a 6 per cent increase compared with 2016. Production was on the up for the third year in a row. In New Zealand, production slightly declined in 2017 (-9 per cent), yet this was in reference to a record production the year before. It nevertheless remained high (2.9 mhl).

Italy confirmed its place as the leading world producer for the third year running in 2017 (39.3 mhl, -23 per cent/2016), followed by France (36.7 mhl, -19 per cent/2016) and Spain (33.5 mhl, – 15 per cent/2016).

This reduction was recorded in the main EU countries. Germany (8.1 mhl, -10 per cent /2016) and Greece (2.5 mhl, -10 per cent /2016) fall in line with this downward trend. Bulgaria (1.1 mhl, – 2 per cent /2016), saw a production level in keeping with its potential.

Portugal (6.6 mhl), Romania (5.3 mhl), Hungary (2.9 mhl) and Austria (2.4 mhl) were the only countries to record a rise compared with 2016. After two poor harvests, Romania returned to a high level of production.

The United States, with 23.3 mhl vinified (-1 per cent /2016), saw a high level of production for the second year running. One doubt remains: the estimated wine production is based on USDA forecasts for grape production, relating especially to wine grapes, from August 2017 and does not therefore take into account the potential consequences of the recent fires in California (October 2017).

In South America, wine production is likely to show quite an increase compared with 2016, despite the fairly low temperatures at the end of the 2016 year.

Argentina recorded a rise in its production with 11.8 mhl vinified in 2017 (+25 per cent/2016), after the 2016 harvest was one of the lowest in recent years.