The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) has released its first estimates for 2023 global wine production, painting a bleak picture for the industry. With a total output of 244 million hectoliters (mhl), production is expected to decline by 7% compared to 2022, marking the lowest level in the last 60 years. In an era of reduced worldwide demand and substantial existing inventories this might not be bad news.
The Southern Hemisphere
It bore the brunt of the decline. Vineyards in the region produced just 45 mhl of wine in 2023, a 19% drop from the previous year. This represents the lowest volume recorded since 2003. All major wine-producing countries in the Southern Hemisphere experienced significant production falls, with year-on-year declines ranging between -10% and -30%.
The Northern Hemisphere
It fared somewhat better, but still faced challenges. In the European Union (EU), wine production is estimated at 150 mhl, a decrease of 11 mhl (-7%) compared to 2022. Italy and Spain, two of the world's largest wine producers, reported particularly significant decreases due to unfavorable weather conditions that led to downy mildew and droughts. France, on the other hand, is expected to be the largest producer at the world level in 2023, with a volume slightly above its five-year average.
Seeking silver linings amidst a dismal forecast
According to recent estimates compiled from 29 wine-producing nations, global wine production in 2023 is projected to plummet from 247 mhl to a staggering 244 mhl, marking the lowest output recorded in 60 years. This significant decline stems from the combined impact of exceptionally low harvest volumes in the Southern Hemisphere and several key EU regions. Extreme climatic events, including early frosts, excessive rainfalls, and persistent droughts, have played a detrimental role in diminishing the output of the world's vineyards. However, amidst a backdrop of declining global consumption and high stock levels in various regions, the anticipated low production could potentially bring balance to the world market.
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