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2008 industry predictions

Published:  23 July, 2008

Bill Rolfe, owner, 10 International

What countries will go up, and what down?

I think the weakness of the dollar will see a surge in the sales of wines from the US. We've also had the recent oblique insight from Oz and James on the wines from California so I think the combination makes the USA the hot tip for 2008. Argentina is also a sleeping giant and is about to woken up! The French are on the move and the Aussies have there problems but will fight back. Italy is still so fragmented but Pinot Grigio goes from strength to strength. Spain is always knocking on the door and their neighbours Portugal offers the best value of them all but will the consumers get it? New Zealand needs some volume wine to get to the masses and Chile will show a little growth and South Africa will be static. And Germany who knows but I doubt it?

Will the economy have an effect on the market?

The US economy is having a knock on effect in the UK and I think consumers always have a nagging worry about how much they spend on unnecessary purchases but wine is a necessity isn't it?

What about the short harvest and predicted duty increases?

Shorter harvests are a good thing if you look at the bigger picture because there is too much wine and too many producers and it keeps the trade on its toes. We all know what Gordon Brown is going to do don't we? So we should now be looking how to pass this on to consumers and break the damaging cycle of holding prices.