Higher vineyard productivity lifts world wine output to 2006 levels

PARIS (REUTERS) - Worldwide wine output rebounded sharply this year to reach levels last seen in 2006, as higher productivity in vineyards offset a steep fall in area, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) said on Monday.

The Paris-based organisation pegged world wine output this year at around 281 million hectolitres, up 9 per cent on last year when it fell sharply due to bad weather in Europe and a policy to draw down its stocks, or "wine lakes".

"In 2013, there has been a significant global harvest, also thanks to the development in the productivity of vineyards," the OIV said. "You have to go back to 2006 to find equivalent production levels." It said the world's vineyards shrank by around 15,000ha this year to 7.5 million ha, with a fall seen in Europe, particularly in Italy and Spain, and slower growth or stabilisation in the United States, Latin America and China. Since 2006, the world's vineyard has lost 300,000ha.

Wine production rises were recorded in most of Europe, with No. 1 maker Italy up 2 per cent at 45 million hectolitres, followed by France at 44 million, up 7 per cent, and Spain at 40 million, up over 20 per cent on the year.

Wine production also swelled in the US, up 7 per cent at nearly 22 million hectolitres, while Chile set a record output at 12.8 million, the OIV said.

The OIV was cautious about giving wine consumption forecasts for the year. It noted the last three months of the year made up for a large part of total sales, and December alone can account for up to 40 per cent of total sales for some products.

However, it said world wine consumption would likely be slightly higher than last year, helped by market expansion in new consuming countries.

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