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Global wine production lowest in 62 years

Published:  08 November, 2023

Extreme weather around the world is believed to have sent global production plunging to its lowest level since 1961, while France becomes the world's biggest wine producer, new figures suggest.

Yesterday (7 November), the OIV released its first estimates for global production and wine consumption patterns for 2023, which are always released after the completion of the northern harvest.

According to the figures, production excluding juices and musts reached 244.1mhl, a decline of 7% on 2022, putting it below the previous 20-year low in 2017 (248mhl).

This was due to the combination of extremely low harvest volumes in the Southern Hemisphere as well as across most of the EU – the latter of which produces over 60% of the world’s total, the organisation said.

As yields fell 14% in Spain to 30.7mhl (-14% on 2022) and 12% in Italy to 43.9mhl (-12%), France’s production stayed flat at 45.8mhl, meaning the country is now the world’s largest producer, overtaking Italy.

“Once again, extreme climatic conditions such as heavy rainfall, frost and drought have significantly impacted the world harvest,” the OIV’s head of statistics, Giorgio Delgrosso, said.

“Meteorological anomalies are becoming the new normal and this is without a doubt, one of the most relevant challenges for the wine sector.”

He also addressed the fall in global consumption patterns, suggesting that “the expected low production this year could certainly bring an equilibrium to the world wine market”.

He continued: “From a global perspective, we have witnessed unprecedented crises in the past three years, with Covid-19 followed by the global supply chain crisis and high inflationary pressures. The combination of these events resulted in a sharp rise in production and distribution costs and generated an overall depressing effect on demand as consumers suddenly saw their purchasing power shrink.

“There are other factors too, including health policies aimed at harmful consumption of alcohol […]There is also a shared view among analysts that wine is facing strong competition from other alcoholic beverages, especially those with lower alcoholic content such as beer.”