Wine Prices Rise in France as Outlook for 2013 Vintage Slides

French bulk wine prices are rising as the outlook for the 2013 vintage deteriorates, crop office data show, with the government cutting its forecast for volumes for a fourth time yesterday because of grape rot.

The price of bulk red and rose wines without geographic indication jumped 15 percent to 64.90 euros ($86.66) per 100 liters (26.4 gallons) last week from 56.41 euros at the start of August, data from crop office FranceAgriMer show. That’s up 7 percent from the same week a year ago.

Prices for bulk reds peaked in February after France’s wine production fell to a 40-year low in 2012, before slipping amid expectations for a bigger harvest this year, FranceAgriMer data show. France’s Agriculture Ministry now forecasts wine production will rise 2.2 percent this year, from an initial July outlook for a 13 percent increase.

“The 2013 season, atypical, had a succession of adverse weather events,” the ministry wrote in a report yesterday. Production “should nonetheless surpass that of 2012, which was historically weak,” it wrote.

The ministry now expects France’s vintners to produce 42.3 million hectoliters (1.12 billion gallons) of wine in 2013, having trimmed its outlook for three straight months through yesterday by a total 4.31 million hectoliters from its first prediction, equivalent to 574 million bottles.

The cost of bulk whites without geographic indication rose to 72.26 euros a hectoliter last week from 67.66 euros at the start of August, according to FranceAgriMer data. That compares with 65.92 euros in the same week last year.

Prices of red and rose wine with a protected geographic indication and mention of the grape variety climbed to 76.16 euros a hectoliter from 75.31 euros at the start of the season, while costs for white wine with the same criteria slipped to 88.86 euros from 89.54 euros.

Trade in red and rose wine amounted to 53,746 hectoliters last week, while 85,834 hectoliters of white traded, according to FranceAgriMer.

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