The prospects (also) for wine production in Greece look bleak, since new forecasts from the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) presented today by the Economic Post speak of a vertical plunge of 45% in production in 2023 season.
This is new shock for producers as well as for consumers, which creates conditions for less market adequacy and higher prices – either due to real conditions or due to speculation. It is indicative that the reduction in olive oil production this year has already increased prices early, with a large part of the producers interested in exporting their product to get more money.
The main factor for the reduction in Greece and globally is climate change and diseases, according to the OIV. Especially for our country, however, domestic market factors also attribute the large reduction to high production costs and the lack of labor for harvesting and processing. It is indicative that last year there were areas of our country where large quantities of grapes were not harvested in many vineyards because there were not enough workers.
Where will the production reach in Greece?
For 2023, the OIV now predicts that in Greece wine production will reach just 1.1 million hectoliters (mhl) from 2.1 million hectoliters in 2022. One hectoliter corresponds to 133 bottles of wine.
One of the countries showing the largest negative variation compared to 2022 is Greece, with an expected wine production of 1.1 mhl in 2023. This volume represents a significant decrease not only from last year (-45%) but also from the average term of the last five years (-50%). This can be attributed to the heavy rains during the spring that caused grape diseases – mainly downy mildew – and to high temperatures and drought in the summer months that strongly affected the vines, the OIV reports for our country.
A big blow for Italy and Spain
Greece with this percentage reduction of 45% is the champion in Europe, while large reductions in absolute numbers are also recorded in Italy and Spain, as can be seen from the analytical data of the International Organization of Vine and Wine-OIV) which is based in Dijon, France and is a barometer for developments in the sector.
A large decrease is also expected in Italy and Spain. These two countries in particular record a significant decrease compared to 2022 due to adverse weather conditions that led to downy mildew and droughts. France again emerges as the world’s largest producer for 2023, with volume slightly higher than the five-year average (45.8 mhl).
Global plunge to 1961 levels
However, a shock is recorded overall in the global wine production this year, which is expected to decrease by 7% from the -already- reduced production- of 2022 and to be formed at the lowest levels of the last 65 years, almost. A large decrease is also expected in most of Europe, mainly in Italy and Spain, as can be seen in the relevant data presented by OT.
Based on information collected by the OIV in twenty-nine countries, representing 94% of global production in 2022, global wine production excluding wine juices and must is estimated for 2023 between 241.7 mhl and 246.6 mhl, with a mid-range estimate at 244.1 mhl. This represents a 7% decrease compared to 2022.
If this forecast is confirmed, 2023 production will be the lowest since 1961 (214 mhl), even lower than the historically low production volume of 2017 (248 mhl). This negative scenario can be attributed to significant reductions in major wine producing countries in both hemispheres. While in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia, Argentina, Chile, South Africa and Brazil recorded year-on-year declines of 10% to 30%, in the Northern Hemisphere Italy, Spain and Greece are the hardest hit countries from bad climatic conditions during the growing season. Only the US and a few EU countries, such as Germany, Portugal and Romania, experienced favorable climate conditions that led to production increases, it said.
Forecasts for the first US harvest show that the production volume will not only be higher than in 2022 but also above the average seen in recent years.
In the Southern Hemisphere, wine production volumes are expected to be much lower than 2022 figures. Australia, Argentina, Chile, South Africa and Brazil were heavily affected by adverse weather conditions. The only exception is New Zealand, the only country with a production level in 2023 above the five-year average.