Ciatti Report: Domestic Buyers Prevail

Below-average harvest volumes expected in many countries. Buyers nevertheless react cautiously. Domestic buyers dominate many markets.

Reading time: 2m 15s

Cautious buyers despite lower crop forecasts (Photo: Diego Cervo/
Cautious buyers despite lower crop forecasts (Photo: Diego Cervo/

The Southern Hemisphere harvests have passed their midway point and Argentina (-40%), Chile (-15-30%) and Australia (-30-40%) are all expected to produce tonnages well short of their respective averages. South Africa’s crop, too, is projected to be on the lighter side, while Cyclone Gabrielle’s impact on the Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay growing regions of New Zealand is still being assessed.

In addition, mid-February brought the release of a smaller 2022 California crop figure than anticipated – at 3.349 million tons, the smallest since 2011. February also brought continued dryness to northern Italy, still suffering from drought as the new growing season roves into view.

Slow bulk wine buying

Despite this picture, international bulk wine buying activity throughout the world can still be characterised as slow.

  • Chile has received some North American and German interest in its white wines.
  • South Africa has received European interest in its whites.
  • Italy’s Prosecco and Pinot Grigio DOC are ever-popular.

Important role of domestic buyers

Activity on each market is dominated by local buyers renewing their perennial commitments. The short crop in Argentina, and resulting 100% increase in local bulk prices, has led domestic buyers to enquire into imports. The rise in Argentina’s entry-level Malbec export price may bring California into play as a competitive source if Chile’s Malbec price, in turn, also increases.

Cautious in terms of volume

The ongoing market quietness tells us that wineries are in no rush to produce or procure wine as retail sales are lagging. With input and energy costs significantly elevated, they would prefer to err on the side of caution in terms of volume. The attitude is very much that it is currently better to be short of supply than long, and this outlook enables buyers to be choosy on price – even on some of those wines and appellations seen as most desirable.

ProWein Report

This month in Düsseldorf, ProWein, the world’s largest wine fair, has returned to its traditional March slot for the first time since 2019. The fair commissioned Geisenheim University to poll 2,500 wine industry experts from 47 countries in late 2022.


Energy costs, supply chain issues and the economic crisis - these are the topics that are of the greatest concern to the wine industry in 2022 and 2023. This is the conclusion of the ProWein Business Report, for which Geisenheim University surveyed a total of 2,500 industry representatives from 47 countries in November 2022.

Reading time: 4m 45s

Biggest concerns

It found that rising input costs had supplanted the pandemic and global supply chain issues as the biggest concern: some 85% of respondents said price increases on energy, glass, paper etc. were the severest threat to their companies, ahead of supply chain disruption (66%) and the global economic downturn (55%).

Reactions to the economic crisis

In answer to “how are you reacting to the economic crisis”, some 60% of respondents said they were aiming to reduce costs, 57% were looking for new export markets, and 46% were “adapting the product portfolio to market trends”. Only 4% said they were laying off staff. From this we see that the wine industry’s response to challenging times is generally proactive, retaining margin where it can through shopping around for inputs that work better price-wise, realising new markets, and innovation. This is where we at Ciatti can bring our knowledge and experience to bear. 


Ciatti can draw on decades of experience to assist whatever your bulk wine and grape needs: don’t hesitate to get in touch.




Latest Articles