PARIS (Reuters) – Supply chain disruptions and the war in Ukraine could curb global wine trade after it rebounded last year to a record level as countries eased coronavirus-related restrictions, international wine body OIV said.
World wine trade, as measured by total exports, increased by 16% in value to 34.3 billion euros ($36.15 billion) and by 4% in volume to 111.6 million hectolitres (mhl), with both indicators marking all-time highs, according to OIV.
One hectolitre is the equivalent of 133 standard bottles.
“In 2021, we saw an overall recovery of the wine market. The real challenge is how the sector will face up to the situation in 2022,” Pau Roca, the OIV’s director general, told a news conference.
After the pandemic contributed to logistical backlogs and rising costs, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could further fan inflation and depress consumer demand, he said.
Western sanctions against Moscow could affect trade with Russia, which spent 949 million euros on wine imports last year, mostly from Italy, France and Spain, he added.
Last year’s growth was driven by the world’s top three wine exporters Spain, Italy and France, which accounted for just over half of total exports, OIV said.
France’s wine industry has already reported record export sales for 2021.
Among importers, the United States remained the top destination in value terms, with imports rising 21% to 6.2 billion euros last year, OIV said.
U.S. import volumes rose 13% to 13.9 mhl, overtaking Britain as the world’s second-largest importer as Brexit contributed to a contraction in UK imports.
Germany remained the biggest importer by volume with stable imports at 14.5 mhl.
Total world wine consumption grew by 1% in volume, stemming a decline seen since 2018 linked to a sharp drop in Chinese demand following an earlier wine boom, OIV said.
Global production in 2021 was estimated at 260 mhl, down 1% from the previous year as weather-hit grape harvests in western Europe outweighed record output in the southern hemisphere.
The estimate was nonetheless above an initial forecast range of 247.1-253.5 mhl given by OIV in November, with Italian output notably revised upwards.
(Reporting by Gus Trompiz. Editing by Jane Merriman and Tomasz Janowski)
FILE PHOTO: A server passes a wine rack at the Cork & Screw restaurant in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 20, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan/File Photo