WORLD – Global wine production reached record high level at 292.3MHL (millions of hectolitres) in 2018 as Italy remains the world’s largest producer, according to recent report by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).

The year’s production was exceptionally high compared to last year when production registered 8.2% decline to 246.7 MHL, with the largest declines in the European Union.

The year was characterized by stable consumption rate (at 246mhl) and high intensity in the international wine trade recording 108mhl traded in volume, and a 1.2% rise in value to reach 31.3 billion Euros (US$35.42 million).

France was the world’s second largest wine producer with 49.1mhl, followed by Spain, which produced 44.4mhl and in Europe, production was impacted by unfavorable weather conditions in some countries.

In Portugal, output was impacted by bouts of downy and powdery mildew.

Data available for China would suggest production levels of 9.3mhl in 2018 (-2.3mhlcompared with 2017).

2018 wine production in the United States increased by more than 0.5mhl when compared with 2017 while production in Argentina grew by 2.7mhl to reach 14.5mhl.

South Africa produced 9.5mhl in 2018, a decrease of 1.4mhl compared with 2017 attributed to the impact of the drought in some wine producing areas.

Total world area planted with vines is estimated at 7.4 mha, while there has been a steady decline in the global vineyard area since 2014, driven primarily by a reduction in the vineyard area in Turkey, Iran, the United States and Portugal.

Consumption stabilizes in most countries

According to OIV figures, world wine consumption was estimated at 246mhl in 2018: similar levels to 2017 at 243mhl.

While global wine consumption dropped after the 2008/2009 economic crisis, the last three years had seen consumption rise again, although this now appears to have stalled.

This was attributed to a drop-in consumption in China (down 6.6% to 18mhl) and the UK.

The world’s largest wine consumer is the US: where consumption in 2018 grew 1.1% to 33mhl.

“A modest decline was observed in South America, except in Brazil, where 2018 consumption, at 3.6 mhl, remained virtually stable compared with 2017,” notes the OIV. 

“Consumption in most countries in Europe remained stable, with the exception of Spain (where it increased for the third consecutive year to reach 10.7 mhl in 2018), Portugal (5.5 mhl in 2018), Romania (4.5 mhl) and Hungary (2.4 mhl).”

Growth in trade volumes and increase in value

Global trade in 2018 increased slightly in terms of volume, with 108mhl traded; it also rose by 1.2% in terms of value, reaching 31.3 billion Euro.

Spain was still the biggest exporter by volume with 20.9mhl, representing 19.4% of the global market. 

France was the biggest world exporter by value, with 9.3 billion Euros exported in 2018.

Wine exports in 2018 were still largely dominated by Spain, Italy and France, which together accounted for over 50% of the global market by volume, equating to 54.8mhl.

Bottled wines made up 70% of the total value of wines exported in 2018. 

By value, sparkling wines accounted for 20% of the global market (despite representing only 9% of the total volume exported).

The five main importing countries –Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, France and China –accounted for more than half of total imports.

OIV forecasts a decrease in production in most countries including Argentina, Brazil   and Chile.

However, New Zealand is expected to see its harvest increase from the previous year.