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Global wine production remains below five-year average

Published:  27 October, 2020

Estimated global wine production for 2020 is expected to remain below the five-year average and in line with 2019, according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).

In its first estimate for this year’s wine production, the OIV said global output, excluding juices and musts, was “below average” for the second consecutive year, and following on from the exceptionally high production of 2018.

Based on information collected from 30 countries, representing 84% of the world production, global wine production this year is estimated to be 1% up on 2019 at 253.9mhl and 262.2mhl, with a mid‑range estimate at 258mhl.

The figures however were "not necessarily to be considered as bad news" for the wine sector, said Pau Roca, director general, OIV, given the current context where “geopolitical tensions, climate change and Covid-19 pandemic are generating a high degree of volatility and uncertainty in the global wine market”.

In the EU, production volume this year is estimated at 159mhl, about 5% more than in 2019, which translates to an annual increase of 7mhl, but still below average.

Measures to reduce the harvest volume had a significant impact in Italy, France and Spain “notwithstanding the overall favourable climatic conditions”, said Roca. 

“Good weather conditions favoured a potentially large 2020 harvest; albeit, that has been limited by different measures at both, the government and producers’ association levels aiming at mitigating the negative impacts of Covid-19,” he said.  

Production in the three largest producing EU countries, Italy, France and Spain, was mixed with a 1% decline in Italy to 47.2mhl, a slight 4% increase in France to 43.9mhl and a more than 11% rise in Spain to 37.5mhl. 

Other large EU wine producing countries such as Germany (8.9 mhl, +8%), Hungary (2.9mhl, +22%) and Austria (2.7mhl, +10%) showed production levels in line or above their last five-year averages. 

Portugal, with 6.5mhl, is also in line with its 2019 production and with its last five-year average, while Romania (3.6mhl) and Greece (2mhl) both showed a negative variations on 2019. 

In the Northern hemisphere outside the EU, the 2020 wine production is high in Russia (4.7mhl, +2%) and Ukraine (1mhl, +1%), while Georgia and Moldova have recorded a contraction in production due to drought with 1.7mhl (-3%) and 1.2mhl (-18%) respectively. 

In the US the preliminary estimate for wine production is at 24.7mhl (+1%), although this figure could be “significantly revised” in the coming months when the real effects of the wildfires in Napa and Sonoma will become clear, said Roca.  

In the Southern hemisphere a strong decline in production was recorded among major producing countries due in large to unfavourable climatic conditions, with the estimate for 2020 49mh, an 8% drop compared to 2019, driven by South America. 

In Argentina, 2020 wine production dropped 17% to 10.8mhl compared to 2019, while Chile, with 10.3mhl, recorded a 13% decline. 

Brazil had an estimated wine production volume of 2.2mhl in line with last year, but a level that is 15% lower than its five-year average.

In South Africa, where drought significantly impacted harvests in 2018 and 2019, wine production in 2020 is estimated at 10.4mhl thus, levelling up, back to normality.

In Oceania, Australia registered and 11% drop to 10.6mhl, with New Zealand showing an opposite trend upping its production by 11% to 3.3mhl.   

At this time of the year, data on grapes harvest in China is not available.