A world wine shortage is predicted after the weather has ruined grape harvests around the world.
The Telegraph reports that output is predicted to fall from 264 million hectolitres in 2011 to 248 million hectolitres in 2012, the lowest level since records began in 1975.
France is to be hardest hit as winter drought, hailstorms, a heat wave and an arid summer are set to leave production 19% down on the previous year finishing up at 40.5 million hectolitres leaving Italy as the worlds largest wine producer with an anticipated 40.8 million hectolitres.
Production is also expected to fall in Argentina, Spain, Hungary and New Zealand.
The US and South Africa are however expected to ‘buck the trend’ growing their production by 7.1% and can look forward to improved export terms in the near future which may help revitalise the troubled South African wine industry.
SA Wine Industry Information & Systems said that the shortage in the rest of the world created greater potential for exports, though the economic downturn was still having a negative impact on consumer spending, mainly in Europe.
They also said that the tightening up of supply in what has for the past 7 years seen chronic oversupply will allow the market to eliminate unsustainable sales and competition that had been undercutting pricing, allowing wine companies to focus on sustainable brand development.
South African wine exports have seen an overall an increase of 7.8%.over the past 12 months.