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Record wine production in the world in 2018, but consumption stagnates

Wine tasting session (illustration image). – GEORGES GOBET / AFP

World wine production broke records in 2018, reaching last year 292.3 million hectoliters, its highest level in 15 years. Opposite, consumers have seemed to be slowing, which should bring down prices, predicted Thursday the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV).

Last year, thanks to the return of a more lenient weather in Europe, where are the three main world producers of wine (Spain, France, Italy), the planet produced 292.3 million hectoliters (Mhl) of wine against 297.8 million in 2004. "This is the largest increase in fifteen years," said Friday Pau Roca, the new secretary general of the OIV, at a press conference in Paris.

China and the United Kingdom drink less

After the historically low grape harvest of 2017, due to the spring frost that had devastated European vineyards, the production increases are spectacular: Spain (+ 36.7%), France (+ 34.8%), Italy (+28 , 9%), Germany (+ 30.7%), and even + 40.4% of production on Swiss wines.

Yet last year, world wine consumption, which had been growing since 2014, "seemed to be pausing (…). A stoppage due "mainly to a decline in consumption in China and the United Kingdom," said the OIV in its statement.

Falling prices for the coming year

In the United Kingdom, British wine lovers drank only 12.3 Mhl in 2018, a decrease of 3.1% from 2017. In China, where growth has slowed down, consumption in 2018 "Would fall by 6.6% compared to 2017, and would reach 18 million hectoliters," says the OIV.

Pau Roca pointed to a trend towards "universalization" of wine consumption worldwide, even though five countries (USA, France, Italy, Germany and China) drink more than half of the wine produced in their own right. the world. The United States remained last year the first consumer country with 33 Mhl, ahead of France (26.8 Mhl). This drop in consumption could lead to a "natural adjustment" in prices, according to the OIV.


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