Bloomberg News

Spanish Grape Prices Climb as Wine Output May Fall, Ciatti Says

October 17, 2011

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Spanish grape prices increased 15 percent to 20 percent as wine production in the country is set to decline this year, U.S. wine broker Ciatti Co. said.

Wine output in Spain will probably slide 7.5 percent to an estimated 38 million hectoliters (1 billion gallons) to 39 million hectoliters, San Rafael, California-based Ciatti said in a report on its website dated Oct. 14.

Adverse spring weather that caused disease including mildew and a vine-uprooting plan are the main reasons for the expected drop, according to Ciatti, which says it’s the world’s largest broker of bulk wine. Uprooting removed 70,000 hectares (172,970 acres) of vineyards in the La Mancha region over the past three years and 90,000 hectares across the country, equating to a production drop of more than 10.5 million hectoliters, the broker said.

“It is difficult to get new vintage quotes from producers as they wait for their neighbors to make the first move, fearing the risk of selling under the market price,” Ciatti said. “The wines facing the biggest increase are, of course, the most- demanded international varietal wines.”

France’s grape harvest this year is “all about volume and price, and less about quality,” and it’s too soon to give accurate price figures because cooperatives and buyers are holding off on reaching agreement, Ciatti said.

In Germany, quality “looks very good” with high levels of ripeness and lower acidity than last year, according to Ciatti. Some growers suffered losses from frost and hail, while others had higher yields a hectare than they’re allowed to sell, the broker said.

--Editors: Dan Weeks, John Deane.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net


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