New World wines squeeze out Europeans

26th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 25 (AFP) - Exports of wine from the United States and the southern hemisphere surged by 20 percent last year, cutting the market share of the EU's five main wine-producing countries, the International Office of Vine and Wine (OIV) said Tuesday.

PARIS, May 25 (AFP) - Exports of wine from the United States and the southern hemisphere surged by 20 percent last year, cutting the market share of the EU's five main wine-producing countries, the International Office of Vine and Wine (OIV) said Tuesday.

Exports from Europe's five main wine producers - France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany - went up by only five percent compared with the previous year.

They made up 63.9 percent of world exports as against 23.4 percent for the US and southern hemisphere producers, the OIV's director general, Federico Castelluci, told a press conference.

French wine exports went up by 2.3 percent last year to total EUR 5.76 billion (USD 6.97 billion). But that was a drop of 2.4 percent in volume compared to 2002, according to the French association of wine and spirit exporters (FEVS).

Europe's contribution to world wine exports has steadily declined in recent years, from an annual 78.5 percent average in the 1986-1990 period, to the current 63.9 percent.

New World wines - from Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa, the United States - are meanwhile on the up.

They rose from a mere 3.1 percent in the 1986-1990 period to today's 23.4 percent, said the OIV, which represents 36 member countries.

Wine exports continue to grow. They now make up 32 percent of wine consumption across the world as opposed to 18 percent in the early 1980s, according to the OIV, an inter-governmental organisation working in the field of wine and vine-based products.

World wine production remained roughly the same last year as in 2002, said the OIV's Castelluci.

Total production for 2003 is estimated at between 252.4 and 260.3 million hectolitres.

Production in 2003 from the 15 countries of the EU (since May 1 this year enlarged to 25 members) was damaged by last summer's heatwave and dropped by 10 percent compared to the 1998-2002 period average.

It stood at 147.1 million hectolitres, according to the OIV.

Production last year in France, at 47.3 million hectolitres, was the lowest in a decade. Italy also produced less wine, while Spain, Portugal and Germany increased their output.

The United States, at 20.42 million hectolitres, made a modest progression, while South Africa surged ahead with a 23 percent rise in output to take it to 8.8 million hectolitres.

Chile and Argentina also upped their wine production last year, with a 14 percent and a four percent rise respectively.

Production in Australia and New Zealand dropped, due to drought, to 10.8 and 0.65 million hectolitres respectively, according to the OIV.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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