Allegrini 2018

Harvest and market. First estimates: 46-49 million hectoliters. Sales: less volume, more value

The situation in Italy as seen by Unione Italiana Vini and Ismea. Same dynamics on Italian markets and exports: lower quantity but higher value
Harvest and market. First estimates: 46-49 million hectoliters

It is always a risk to try to give precise forecasts, but some estimates are beginning to emerge on the 2018 harvest in Italy, after those recently announced from France and Spain. And, according to the first surveys
of the Italian Wine Union Observatory and the Italian agri-food markets services, Ismea, confirmed by the Italian farmers association, Coldiretti, the production gap will be between 47 and 49 million hectoliters although, obviously, the next few weeks will decide outcomes. This figure is more in line with the Italian average and, net of any unforeseen disasters, much more abundant than the 2017 harvest, plagued by the early April cold and the summer drought, which, according to Ismea figures, still brought Italy to a production of 42.5 million hectoliters. The climatic trend of this harvest has been, up to now, more regular than the past one, yet there are difficulties. “The climate has given us quite a few surprises this year as well, alternating frosts, hail”, pointed out Paolo Castelletti, general secretary of UIV, “and heavy rains. Our winemakers have paid close attention to the vineyards and managed to contain insidious attacks of peronospora and powdery mildew. Now the climate will make the difference for normal ripening of the grapes; determining volumes, sugar, acidic and aromatic content". These are the “hypotheses” from the vineyard, while the numbers from the market are much more concrete, which once again for Italian wine outline an overall positive picture. But, there are some critical points. In modern distribution, in the first 7 months of the year, the sales in Italy of still and sparkling wines showed a fall in volumes of -3%, but an increase in value of 5%, thanks also to the continuous consumption growth in the DOP wines segment, where a “Rosé trend” is beginning to be reported, even if still a niche. This trend is also reflected in exports. In the first four months of 2018, Ismea noted that just over six million hectoliters of wine were exported, -7% on 2017, compared to a +6% in value. Sparkling wines are still showing a positive performance, even though +3% volume indicates a definite downsizing compared to the double-digit growth over the past few years.

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