Italy, Spain Wine Prices Seen Rising by Ciatti on Harvest Slide

Bulk wine prices in France, Italy and Spain, the world’s largest producers, are climbing after adverse summer weather reduced the European grape harvest, according to wine broker Ciatti Co.

Italian pinot grigio from the 2012 vintage has increased to 1.30 to 1.45 euros ($1.69-$1.88) a liter (0.26 gallon) from 1.20 to 1.30 euros last month, San Rafael, California-based Ciatti, which says it’s the world’s largest broker of bulk wines, wrote in an e-mailed report.

“As the 2012 harvest season continues in the Northern Hemisphere, expectations remain very low for the European crop,” Ciatti wrote. “The bulk wine market has already begun to feel the effects.”

Italy’s wine production may slide 8 percent this year to 39.3 million hectoliters after drought and heat damaged grapes, according to researcher Istituto di Servizi per il Mercato Agricolo e Alimentare reported last month. French output is seen falling 20 percent to 40.6 million hectoliters (1.07 billion gallons), the lowest in at least 40 years, the Agriculture Ministry said last week.

“This will be one of the smallest crops Italy has seen in the last 50 years,” Ciatti wrote. “Most bottlers in Italy are having difficulty in closing contracts with supermarkets due to price increases.”

Generic white Italian wine from 2012 rose to 0.58 to 0.65 euros a liter from 0.55 to 0.60 euros in September, and compared with 0.52 to 0.57 euros a liter for 2011 vintage in August. Italian merlot prices were stable at 0.68 to 0.75 euros a liter for new vintage, the broker said.

Rising Prices

“White wine is highest in demand, while also the most problematic to find at the moment,” Ciatti said. “White wine is difficult to buy, as prices seem to be increasing daily and suppliers are looking to sell only for fast deliveries.”

French generic red wine from 2011 climbed to 0.60 to 0.65 a liter from 0.55 to 0.65 euros last month, it said.

In Spain, vineyard prices for bulk tempranillo and syrah wine have climbed to between 0.65 and 0.70 euros a liter for this year’s production, compared with 0.55 to 0.60 euros last month for the 2011 vintage, the broker said.

Spanish wine production is forecast to slide 14 percent to 33.2 million hectoliters, Ciatti wrote, citing data from La Semana Vitivinicola.

“As a consequence of the small crop, grape-buying prices have exploded, increasing between 30 percent and 50 percent in most of the producing regions,” the broker said.

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