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Posted: Tuesday, 16 July 2019 13:48

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July 16: OIV Director General, Pau Roca, presented the much respected annual overall Report on the global wine sector at the 42nd World Congress of Vine and Wine in Geneva, Switzerland, covering the area under vines, grape production and consumption as well as wine trade volumes in 2018, with the US and Italy maintaining the top position as consumers and producers, reports Subhash Arora stressing the need for India to take more benefits from its membership in the inter governmental body that puts India at a higher position at no. 7 as overall grape producer and 3rd in the table grape production in the world

The main highlights are world’s winegrowing area at 7.4 mhA (million Hectares), producing 78 mT (million Tons) of grapes, 27.7 mT of which are table grapes and 5.2 mT are used to make 1.3 mT of  resins. World wine production is estimated at 292 million hL and consumption slightly lower at 246 mhL with world trade in wine accounting at 108 mhL in volume and €31 bn in value. Only about 50% of the grapes produced (38.5 mT) were used to make wine.

China remains the country with second-highest recorded surface area of 875,000 hA covered under vines, with Spain leading at 969,000 hA. Top 5 countries with surface areas- Spain, China, France, Italy and Turkey account for over 50% of vine surface in the world. India has 151,000 hA, a vast majority of it being table grapes, making it 12th in terms of the surface area. But it climbed to 7th position from the earlier 9th position in total grape production, making 2.9 mT of mostly table grapes, driving past Argentina and Chile in this segment.

China is the biggest producer of table grapes with 35% of the grapes in this segment in 2018. It grew by a mind-boggling rate of 700% from 2000 (when it was only marginally higher than India in the table grape segment) to 2018 when it tops the list for table grape segment. India has the honour to be in this segment at no.3 position at 1.9 mT. It almost doubled in surface area during the same period.  

Unfortunately, India is nowhere in the picture for dried grapes category. The top 4 producers control 73% of world bulk production with Turkey leading at (28%), USA (20%), China (14%) and Iran (11%). This could be an area for further progress for India which had a growth of almost 4 times from 6.1 mT in 2000 to 23.5 mT in 2018.

Here are the highlights:

Increase in the vineyard area

The size of the global vineyard area (regardless of the final destination of the grapes and including vines not yet in production) in 2018 reached 7.4 mhA and is slightly higher than in 2017 (+24 khA).

Spain remains the leading country for area cultivated with 969 khA, ahead of China (875 khA) and France (793 khA). The Chinese winegrowing area continued to increase (+10 khA) in 2018. On the other hand, the European Union’s vineyards seem to have curbed their rate of decline and stood at 3,324 khA in 2018.

Increase in grape production

In 2018, the global production of fresh grapes was almost 78 mT. Since 2000, the grape production trend has been on the rise (+1% per year), despite the decrease in the vineyard area (-3% over the same period). This is mainly due to a rise in yields, resulting from the continuous improvement of viticultural techniques.

 China, despite an 11% drop in production in 2018, is the world’s leading producer with 11.7 mT (15% of global grape production), followed by Italy (8.6 mT), the USA (6.9 mT), Spain (6.9 mT) and France (5.5 mT). The top three European producers recorded a 28% increase in production.

Table grape production doubled in 20 years

The yield of table grapes reached 27.3 mT in 2018 with a decrease of 1.1 mT in comparison with 2017. This decrease in production can be explained by a 10% drop in Chinese production, which represents more than a third of global production.

Nevertheless, with an average annual growth rate of 5%, table grape production has doubled in the last twenty years, contributing significantly to the increase in total grape production over the period.

In 2018, China remains the world’s leading producer (9.5 mT), followed by Turkey (1.9 mT) and India (1.9 mT).

 Stable dried grape production

Dried grape production is estimated at 1.3 mT in 2018. This level is in line with its 10 year average.

Turkey (381 kT) and the United States (263 kT) are still the two largest producers in the world and account for almost 50% of global production.

A historical wine production

Global wine production (excluding juices and must) in 2018 was one of the highest since 2000 with a volume of 292 mhL, representing an increase of 17% compared to 2017 which was marked by very difficult weather conditions that had affected production in many countries.

Italy (54.8 mhL) confirms its position as the leading world producer, followed by France (48.6 mhL) and Spain (44.4 mhL). The level of production in the United States remains high (23.9 mhL). In South America, production increased significantly: in Argentina (14.5 mhL), in Chile (12.9 mhL). And South Africa (9.5 mhL) suffered an unfavourable major drought.

As a result of the drop in the grape yield, wine production in China (9.1 mhL) was in a 2nd year of recession with 22% drop over the 2017/2018 wine year.

Stabilised wine consumption

The available data show a stabilisation of global consumption in 2018, estimated at around 246 mhL.

Since 2014, the trend has therefore been towards a stabilisation or recovery in consumption in European countries, which have traditionally been consumers, as well as the development of new consumption poles, especially in Asia. With 33 mhL, the United States was the biggest global consumer since 2011, followed by France (26.8 mhL), Italy (22.4 mhL), Germany (20 mhL) and China (17.9 mhL).

International wine trade higher in value

In 2018, the world wine trade volume was slightly down compared to the 2017 level (-0.7%), with 108 mhL, but its value increased by 1.2% to reach €31 bn. Spain (21.1 mhL), Italy (19.7 mhL) and France (14.1 mhL) continue to be the main exporters of wine, accounting for more than 50% of the world volume in 2018. The top five importing countries, Germany (14.7 mhL), the United Kingdom (13.2 mhL), the United States (11.5 mhL), France (7.1 mhL) and China (6.9 mhL) continue to account for more than half of global imports in volume terms in 2018. 5

About OIV

International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) is an Intergovernmental Organisation Created in November 1924 but re-founded in April 2001. It is of a scientific and technical nature of recognised competence for its work concerning vines, wine, wine-based beverages, table grapes, raisins and other vine-based products. It is composed of 47 Member States including India. Some of the members produce only grapes and no wine.

Its objectives are to inform its members of measures whereby the concerns of producers and consumers  may be taken into consideration- to assist other international organisations, both intergovernmental and non-governmental, especially those that carry out standardisation activities; and to contribute to international harmonisation of existing practices and standards and, as necessary, to the preparation of new international standards in order to improve the conditions for producing and marketing vine and wine products, and to help ensure that the interests of consumers are taken into account.

Inactive India

Despite being a full member, elected unanimously, India has so far failed to interact fully with OIV and take advantage in standardisation of its production of grapes or wines and it is high time the various government platforms come on the same plane to take advantage of the treasure of information. Last year, it did not even send a governmental representative to this Conference, I have been told there was no one representing India either. This is a pity.

Subhash Arora

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