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?New Zealand on track for record crop

Published:  18 March, 2014

New Zealand is on track to have its biggest harvest ever this year, with estimations of a 15%  increase over last year's record crop.

Marlborough vinesMarlborough vinesMarlborough vines

Philip Gregan the chief executive of New Zealand Winegrowers said: "Like many of the agricultural sectors in New Zealand, most of our grape growing regions have experienced very favourable growing conditions through the summer and into the early autumn. With a continuation of the current warm, dry days and cool nights, all the indications suggest we are set for another memorable, high quality vintage which will be a great follow up to the stellar 2013 harvest."

Despite the possibility of oversupply, growers are optimistic that the wine will find an outlet on the global market.

Gregan said: "On the back of the 2013 vintage, New Zealand wine exports are up 5% to a record NZ$1.27 billion and we expect they will exceed NZ$1.3 billion by June year end. With demand strong in key markets, the 2014 vintage will enable another significant boost to exports in the year ahead."

New Zealand has over doubled its wine export volumes in the past five years, with over 178 million litres being exported last year.

Gregan told at New Zealand's annual trade tasting that in the mid-term he expected demand to exceed supply through 2017.

Stocks have been depleted following the 2012 harvest which was light, which was good news because it allowed for the 2008 and 2009 stocks to move through the supply chain.  2008 and 2009 were both larger crops and because of the global financial crisis an oversupply of wine affected prices.

Chris Stroud, marketing manager for Europe for New Zealand Winegrowers said: "This year we have had a good growing season so there is likely to be a larger harvest. However, the big difference between now and 2008 is that there are no new vineyards coming into production over the next three years. The prevailing view is that while the crop may be larger this year this is no certainty for the future. As such when combined with rising sales we are going to see quite a few new vineyards planted over the next few years."