Allegrini 2018

Wine and prices, still down the quotations: the common wines collapse, but Dop and Igp also suffer

The surveys (July 2019) of Unioncamere and Borsa Merci Telematica Italiana, analysed by WineNews
Prices, still down quotations: common wines collapse, but also suffer from PDO and PGI

The 2019 vintage is approaching, and if the state of the Italian vineyard does not seem to have particular problems so far, to worry the winemakers first and foremost, but not only, it is the downward pressure on the prices of bulk wines wholesale. A delicate issue that has been in the spotlight for some time, which has suffered a major shock after the 2018 vintage, with average quantities, which saw the start of the collapse of wine prices, according to many well beyond what could be expected after the major increases after the very poor 2017 vintage. And so, if on several occasions the Ismea surveys, analysed by WineNews, have revealed the decline in important denominations, to take stock of the situation at the beginning of the 2019 harvest, which is also expected to be good at least in quantity, are Unioncamere and Bmti (Borsa Merci Telematica Italiana), according to which, on an annual basis, “the drop, which began in the last months of 2018, is now close to double the figure, amounting to -9.4%. To be more penalized in comparison with last year are generic wines, without denomination, with decreases of 12.9% -19.5% for white wines and -24.7% for rose wines”.
Worrying percentages, and the drop, even if in a lesser extent, for Dop and Igp wines: overall, the red denominations are down by -4.6% compared to a year ago (with peaks of -9.9% for Dop and Igp in the lower range), while white wines with Denomination or Geographical Indication are down by -5.4% (with peaks of -12.4% in the cheaper price ranges). And, in general, according to Unioncamere and Bmti data, even sparkling wines no longer maintain their position, despite the growth in consumption in Italy and around the world, even if with differences: while overall the drop in prices is -5.3%, on the one hand there was a drop in the prices of the Charmat method (where Prosecco dominates) of -7.3%, on the other hand there was a slight increase in the classic method, at +1.7%, the only positive element along with that of Dop and Igp rosé wines, up by +1.4%.
But if this is the general situation, it is different the state of health of some of the most relevant names of the three top regions of Italian wine, Piedmont, Veneto and Tuscany, according to data Unioncamere and Bmti analyzed by WineNews. Starting from Piedmont, the prices of Barolo in July, according to the Turin Chamber of Commerce, are substantially stable between 8-9 euros per liter, as a year ago, while those of Barbaresco have even risen from 4.7 euros per liter in June 2018 to 5.5 in July 2019. The trend of the Barbera world is different: from just under 2 euros per litre for Barbera d'Alba Docg to 1.5 Barbera d'Asti Docg, substantially stable, while both the prices of Barbera del Monferrato Doc, around 1.2 euros per litre, and of Piemonte Barbera Doc, just over 1.3 euros per litre, are higher than in the summer of 2018. Very slight increase, always taking as reference the data of the Chamber of Commerce of Turin, for Gavi, around 2.8-2.9 euros per liter.
In Veneto, however, according to the Chamber of Commerce of Verona, the prices of Amarone and Recioto vintage 2015 have slightly decreased in the year, but still around 8 euros per liter, with the same dynamics for production 2016, which has fallen to under 7 euros per liter, with a few cents more, in both cases, for wines from the classic area.
The situation of the Prosecco world is more articulated, which is experiencing a general downward trend: the prices of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg (Treviso Chamber of Commerce) have gone from a peak of over 3 euros per litre in June-July 2018 to 2.5 in July 2019, while Prosecco Doc, from just over 2 euros in the summer of 2018 (Padua Chamber of Commerce), has fallen below 1.5 euros per litre in July 2019.
In Tuscany, on the other hand, there is a flat chart, with total stability, for Brunello di Montalcino, with important price differences, however, between the different vintages surveyed by the Chamber of Commerce of Siena: ranging from just over 8 euros per liter for the production 2015, to prices between 11-12 euros per liter for the years 2011, 2012 and 2015, while they are close to 14 euros per liter for the wines of the harvest 2013.
On the other hand, the prices of Chianti Classico are stable or slightly higher, starting from 2.7 euros in the 2014 vintage, to reach 3 euros per litre of production in 2017, with a few cents less for the 2015, 2016 and 2018 vintages (Florence Chamber of Commerce). Stability also for the prices of Nobile di Montepulciano, with the 2015 and 2016 vintage above 3.5 euros per liter, and 2014 just under 3.4.
Chianti suffers a bit more: for the largest red denominations in Tuscany, the prices have experienced a period with several small fluctuations, and now the prices recorded by the Chamber of Commerce of Siena say 1.2 euros per liter for production 2018, and prices around 1.4 euros per liter for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017.
As always, it is good to repeat that these are indicative prices, average, and that things in the real bargaining phase can also differ significantly, for many factors. But what is certain is that the question of the profitability of wine and wine production is an increasingly central issue, and the estimated 2019 harvest of good quantities not only in Italy, but also in Spain and France, for example, from this point of view, in all likelihood, will complicate things even more.

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