Wine production across the globe plunged to the lowest level in more than half a century after poor weather significantly impacted production across Europe.

According to the Paris-based international wine organization OIV, the total wine output reached 250 million hectoliters in 2017, which is 8.6% than global wine makers produced the previous year.

The OIV said that it was the lowest level since 1957, when production had fallen to 173.8 million hectoliters. One hectoliter is 100 liters and is the equivalent of nearly 133 standard wine bottles.

The main reason behind the plunge is a considerable production decrease in the EU, the world’s biggest wine producer. All top wine producers in the bloc were reportedly hit by harsh weather last year, which triggered an overall decline of nearly 15% to 141 million hectoliters.

According to the agency’s estimations, Italian wine output fell by 17% to 42.5 million hectoliters. French production was down 19% at 36.7 million hectoliters, while Spanish output declined by 20% to 32.1 million hectoliters.

In France, most of the key regions including Bordeaux and Champagne were hit by spring frosts, drought, and storms, dragging production to a record low.

At the same time, wine output managed to remain nearly stable in the USA, the world’s fourth-biggest producer. Production was also steady in China, which is currently seventh in wine production after Australia and Argentina.

In Latin America, where trends were mixed, Argentina demonstrated a 25% increase after very low production in 2016, while Chile saw a 6% drop.

Meanwhile, consumption of wine across the world edged higher to around 243 million hectoliters in 2017. The USA remained the largest wine consumer at 32.6 million hectoliters, followed by France at 27 million.

Spain retained its position as the largest exporting country by volume with a global market share of 20.5%. France is the leader in value with €9 billion ($11 billion) of wine exported in 2017.

All in all, global exports reached 107.9 million hectoliters last year, which is up 3.4% against the year before, and €30 billion in value.

RT.com / ABC Flash Point Wine News 2018.

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