Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Bulk wine market sluggish as 2014 harvest ends, says Ciatti

Published:  14 October, 2014

As the 2014 harvest draws to a close, the bulk wine market remains sluggish, with plentiful stocks available in most markets, says the latest report from Ciatti. 

As the 2014 harvest draws to a close, the bulk wine market remains sluggish, with plentiful stocks available in most markets, says the latest report from Ciatti. 

The bulk broker says sales have picked up a little in the past month, given reports from northern hemisphere harvests "have been less than enthusiastic in regards to volume".

HarvestsBulk wine markets slightly slower than usual, says CiattiSource: LaithwaitesMany countries are seeing average, or below average crop sizes this year, which is bringing the wine supply market back into balance, says broker Ciatti.

The group foresees that 2014's slightly smaller harvest - last week Rabobank estimated total volumes could be down by as much as 4% - should see wine inventories move from oversupply back towards balance.

Spain and Italy look to be significantly down on last year - with the Italians seeing volumes plummet by as much as 20%.

The latest official Italian crop estimation from ISMEA shows the harvest should be around 40 million hectolitres, with some Primitivo and Prosecco pricing going up by 10 to 20%.

Spain's harvest is down by around 25%, says the country's Ministry of Agriculture. It forecast total production of 40.35 million hectolitres of wine and grape juice, down from last year's 53.55 million hectolitres.

The Winemakers Federation of Australia said the estimated crush figure for 2014 was 1.7 million tonnes, down 7% on 2013, thanks to cooler weather in certain regions. The average price per tonne of grapes is $441, down 12% drop from the records received in 2013. The Ciatti report stated: "The unprofitability of the grape?growing industry continues to be highlighted for certain wine regions as they repeatedly see a drop in the purchase price of grapes, offset by an increase in average yields."

New Zealand, and especially Marlborough, has had issues with warm weather and minimal rainfall, which is causing concern about frost. Many producers are using drip irrigation, fans or helicopters to fend off colder weather.

California is expecting to call an average harvest, with yields down in the souther Central Valley but strong volumes from the Central Coast. The main concern in California is incoming legislation that will limit ground water use, which could have a serious impact on grape growers should drought conditions continue.

Ciatti says Chilean prices are stable and could be recovering, as demand has picked up. Domestic and international buyers are once again actively seeking wine. White wine and Pinot Noir are in short supply, but the 2015 harvest is shaping up to be or a normal size.

France is seeing mixed results from its harvest, with Cotes du Rhone, Provence, Bordeaux and the southwest of France appearing very confident about quantity and quality for the 2014 vintage. This should "help stabilise pricing and regain lost markets" following 2013's disappointing vintage, Ciatti says.

Languedoc has had a tough time with big losses in Aude and Herault on Chardonnay and Merlot, due to severe drought during flower set. Heavy October rain caused severe grape ripening issues in the Herault area, but didn't impact the other areas. "Consequently, the market for high alcohol, deep color red wine and quality Chardonnay/Sauvignon/Varietal rosé is already under pressure, with buyers looking to secure volumes as soon as possible," says the report.

Germany's 2014 harvest was "satisfying", but there are now concerns over an Asian fruit infecting red grapes with sour rot.

South Africa is seeing things pick up in the last month, after exports fell 19%, or 100.6 million litres in the past year.