In 2021, the weather has been very peculiar throughout Europe, with periods of intense heat alternating with torrential rains and sudden frosts. These atmospheric events had a strong impact on the wine production of the whole old continent. A situation that, compared to 2020, will cause important changes in sales trends and in retail prices.
So let’s try to understand which will be the trends relating to production and prices in the major markets: France, Spain and Italy.
Up to a 20% price increase in France
Compared to 2020, the French harvest production of 2021 was undeniably negligible. Furthermore, this reduction in supply will be accompanied by a significant increase in demand for French white wines, and the supply will be exhausted by the end of the year. It is expected that shelf prices of white wines will also suffer sharp increases, up to 20% compared to 2020.
On the other hand, the production of red wines will be more abundant, with good stock levels of mid-range wines. Red wine prices are also expected to rise, but not to the same extent as white wines.
For these reasons, we advise potential buyers interested in French wines to inform us of their volume requirements as soon as possible, in order to avoid supply and availability issues.
Prices unchanged for wines produced in Spain
Spain continues to offer good supplies of generic red wines at very competitive prices, in addition to the classic varieties of red wines much appreciated by the international market. The incoming harvest seems to be slightly down compared to 2020, but the carry-over to the cellars (mainly of reds) is large and, therefore, prices should not increase significantly with the start of the 2021-2022 purchasing campaign; the same goes for grape juice concentrate.
Demand from France and Italy (on all wines, as well as on sulfated must and concentrated grape juice) should be sustained, due to the slowdown in grape production in the two European countries and the consequent reduction in supply. Furthermore, the slow loading pace of 2021 is creating some storage headaches for Spanish suppliers.
Italy: reduced production and rising prices
The growing season for Italian grapes was tough: frosts in spring, heavy rains in the summer and hailstorms in the north, drought and extreme temperatures in the south.
The quality of the 2021 wines should still be high, but volumes are likely to decrease. This will lead to an increase in the prices of bulk wines and a limited supply throughout Italy, with particularly high demands for Prosecco, Pinot Grigio and Apulian wines.
Sales of Prosecco increased by 31.5% in July, while those of Pinot Grigio decreased by 7%: the latter is caused by the reduction in supply. The expectation is that, with a harvest expected to be reduced in quantity and a demand for Italian wines that will remain very strong (and potentially increasing if European buyers were to abandon New World wines due to ongoing global logistical problems), prices in 2021 will be significantly higher than those recorded in 2020.