World Wine Production Seen at 7-Year High on Spain and Argentina

World wine production is forecast to climb 8.8 percent to the highest in seven years as grape harvests rebound in Spain, Argentina and France, according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine.

The 2013 vintage is seen rising to 281 million hectoliters (7.4 billion gallons) from 258.2 million hectoliters in 2012, the OIV, as the Paris-based industry group is known, wrote in e-mailed documents today. Last year’s output was raised from a March estimate of 250.9 million hectoliters.

Volumes are projected to climb for the eight largest producers, leaving enough wine to fully cover distilling-industry requirements for the first time since 2007, according to the OIV. Italy is poised to remain the largest producer ahead of France and Spain, according to the industry group, which has 45 member nations from Australia to Turkey.

“After five modest harvests in a row and an exceptionally weak 2012 harvest, wine production in 2013 can be qualified as relatively high,” the OIV wrote. “The wine world this year returns to the levels of 2006.”

Consumption is forecast to be around 245 million hectoliters, leaving about 35.7 million hectoliters for the distilling industry and vermouth makers.

World wine production by volume is expected to jump by 22.8 million hectoliters, equivalent to 3 billion bottles. Spanish output may rise to 40 million hectoliters from 32.5 million hectoliters after vineyards recovered from drought last year, the documents showed.

France, Italy

Argentina is estimated to produce 15 million hectoliters this year from 11.8 million hectoliters in 2012, the OIV said. France’s 2013 vintage may increase to 44.1 million hectoliters from 32.5 million hectoliters.

Italy’s production is expected to climb to 44.9 million hectoliters from 43.8 million hectoliters last year, while U.S. volume may climb to 22 million hectoliters from 20.5 million hectoliters, according to the organization.

Among major producers, Romania is expected to post the biggest gain, lifting output 79 percent to 5.94 million hectoliters after a heat wave last year, followed by Hungary with a 44 percent jump to 2.62 million hectoliters and New Zealand with a 28 percent increase to 2.63 million hectoliters.

Italy was the world’s largest wine exporter by volume in the first half of 2013 with 20.9 million hectoliters, followed by Spain with 17.3 million hectoliters and France with 14.9 million hectoliters. By value, France took the biggest share of exports with 7.86 billion euros ($10.8 billion), followed by Italy with 4.87 billion euros and Spain with 2.41 billion euros, OIV data show.

The U.S. was the biggest importer at 4.04 billion euros, followed by the U.K. at 3.86 billion euros and Germany with inbound shipments valued at 2.47 billion euros, the industry group reported.

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