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Italy and Spain overtake France on the world wine podium




Southern European vines have suffered from the climate (photo: BL)
Southern European vines have suffered from the climate (photo: BL)
WORLD. Overall world wine production in 2021 is expected to be 4% lower than in 2020 with an average estimate of 250.3 million hectolitres. This figure - published on Thursday 4 November 2021 by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) in a report based on information collected from twenty-eight countries - is close to the 2017 level, considered to be the lowest in history.

In the European Union alone, 'due to the late spring frost and generally unfavourable weather conditions', says the OIV, the loss is 21 million hectolitres year on year (-13%) with a production of 145 million hectolitres (excluding juice and must)

While some countries are doing better with increased results, such as Portugal (6.5 million hectolitres +1%), Romania (5.3 million hectolitres +37%), Hungary (3.1 million hectolitres +4%) and Germany (8.4 million hectolitres +4%), the world's largest producers are all showing a clear decline. Italy, the world's leading producer in this sector, is experiencing a 9% drop in production (44.5 million hectolitres). France, second in 2020, produced only 34.2 million hectolitres, a fall of 29% compared to the previous year. Adding episodes of mildew (a parasitic fungus) to the handicaps of European vines, France has "suffered the most from the effects of a disastrous vintage", says the report.
This downturn - "its lowest production volume since 1957", according to Pau Roca, Director General of the OIV - has allowed Spain (35 million hectolitres, or -14%) to take over, by a narrow margin, second place worldwide. An event that has not happened since 2013.

Italy, Spain and France represent 45% of world production. Overall, these three countries have lost around 22 million hectolitres compared to 2020.

Transfer of the OIV headquarters to Dijon

On the other hand, 2021 is proving to be a very good year for the vineyards of the southern hemisphere (except for New Zealand and its - 19%). Record production was recorded in South America (+60% for Brazil, +30% for Chile, +16% for Argentina), South Africa (10.6 million hectolitres +2%) and Australia (14.2 million hectolitres +30%). The United States also saw a 6% increase with 24.1 million hectolitres.

At the end of October 2021, during a general assembly at the Dijon town hall, the forty-eight member states of the OIV, representing 85% of wine production and nearly 80% of its worldwide consumption, unanimously approved the French government's decision to transfer their headquarters from Paris to Dijon. The move of the General Secretariat to a 17th century town house owned by the city (Hôtel Bouchu d'Esterno, rue Monge) will be effective from September 2024, after the renovation work (€8 million co-financed by the city of Dijon and the Burgundy-Franche-Comté Region) is completed in July of the same year. Two other bids were in the running, those of Reims and Bordeaux.

The transfer will therefore coincide with the centenary of the OIV, founded in 1924, which has always been domiciled in France, in the capital. The general secretariat of the intergovernmental organisation has fifteen employees.

Eric Apim


Tuesday, November 9th 2021



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