FREE! Subscribe to News Fetch, THE daily wine industry briefing - Click Here



epic AD final

Click ad, above, to see how corks with TCA above 0.5 ppt can be removed from production.

Commerce7Click to learn more

World wine output bounced back in 2018 from a 60-year low

NEWS RELEASE,  APRIL 11, 2019 – SOURCE: International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV)


Screen Shot 2019-04-12 at 6.58.23 AM

hl = hectoliter. 1 hectoliter = 26.42 U.S. Gallons — ha=hectare. 1 one hectare contains about 2.47 acres.


Speaking from the OIV’s headquarters in Paris on 11 April, Director General Pau Roca presented information on wine production, wine consumption and international trade in 2018.


This exceptionally high level is a clear departure from the historically low production of the previous year. Consumption stabilised and the internationalisation of trade intensified.


  • World area under vines 7.4 mha in 2018
  • Strong growth in production, which reached 292.3 mhl, an increase of 42.5 mhl since 2017
  • Consumption relatively stable at 246 mhl
  •   World wine trade on the rise: 108 mhl traded in volume, and a 1.2% rise in value to reach 31.3bn EUR


A break in vineyard area decline

In 2018, the total world area under vines is estimated at 7.4 mha, which is almost equivalent to that of 2017. There has been a steady decline in the global vineyard area since 2014, driven primarily by a reduction in the vineyard area in Turkey, Iran, the United States and Portugal.


In Europe, the surface area in Italy is estimated to have risen by around 5 kha between 2017 and 2018, reaching 706 kha. This counters the trend in other European countries, which are experiencing stabilisation in their vineyard areas. That said, Spain continues to hold the top spot in the world ranking with 969 kha.


In Asia, the expansion of Chinese vineyards (875 kha) slowed after more than 10 years of strong growth, while Turkey (448 kha) saw its size stabilise in 2018 after a steady decline since 2003.


In the Americas, the vineyard area increased particularly in Mexico, where it reached 34 kha.


South African vineyards have been slowly declining since 2012, to stand at 125 kha in 2018.


In Oceania, the recent downturn in Australian vineyards (145 kha) seems to have slowed, while New Zealand’s vineyards remained more or less stable at around 39 kha.

Strong growth in production in 2018

After a year of historically low production in 2017, global wine production increased by 42.5 mhl, estimated at 292.3 mhl, which is close to the exceptionally high level of 2004.


Italy confirmed its position as the world’s largest producer with 54.8 mhl, followed by France with 49.1 mhl, and Spain, which produced 44.4 mhl. However, the weather conditions were less favourable for some European countries. In Portugal (6.1 mhl), bouts of downy and powdery mildew impacted 2017 outputs, although production was nonetheless higher than the average of recent years. Production in Greece (2.2 mhl) and Bulgaria (1.0 mhl) was low.


Data available for China would suggest production levels of 9.3 mhl in 2018 (-2.3 mhl compared with 2017).


Developments are more contrasted in the Americas. Estimated at 23.9 mhl excluding juice and musts, 2018 wine production in the United States increased by more than 0.5 mhl when compared with 2017. Production in Argentina grew by 2.7 mhl to reach 14.5 mhl. Chile, meanwhile, recorded strong growth, with an increase of 3.4 mhl to reach 12.9 mhl; Brazil, on the other hand, saw its production fall to 3.1 mhl in 2018.


South Africa produced 9.5 mhl in 2018; this decrease of 1.4 mhl compared with 2017 is due to the impact of the drought.


In Oceania, Australian production remained stable, with 12.9 mhl vinified. New Zealand produced 3.0 mhl, an increase of 0.2 mhl since 2017.

World wine consumption stabilised, close to 246 mhl

The growth in world wine consumption, estimated at 246 mhl in 2018, seems to have stalled, influenced primarily by a drop in consumption in China and the United Kingdom.


The United States, the world’s largest consumer since 2011, consumed 33.0 mhl, a slight rise in relation to the previous year (+1.1%).


A modest decline was observed in South America, except in Brazil, where 2018 consumption, at 3.6 mhl, remained virtually stable compared with 2017.


Consumption in most countries in Europe remained stable, with the exception of Spain (where it increased for the third consecutive year to reach 10.7 mhl in 2018), Portugal (5.5 mhl in 2018), Romania (4.5 mhl) and Hungary (2.4 mhl).


China’s 2018 consumption – determined using production, import and export data – appears to have fallen by 6.6% since 2017, to stand at 18 mhl.

At 4.3 mhl, South African consumption also recorded a slight decrease. In Oceania, however, compared with 2017, consumption in Australia increased by 6.1% to reach 6.3 mhl, while in New Zealand it remained almost stable at 0.9 mhl.

Growth in trade volumes and increase in value

Global trade in 2018 increased slightly in terms of volume, with 108 mhl traded; it also rose by 1.2% in terms of value, reaching 31.3bn EUR.


Spain was still the biggest exporter by volume with 20.9 mhl, representing 19.4% of the global market. France was the biggest world exporter by value, with 9.3bn EUR exported in 2018. Wine exports in 2018 were still largely dominated by Spain, Italy and France, which together accounted for over 50% of the global market by volume, equating to 54.8 mhl.


Bottled wines made up 70% of the total value of wines exported in 2018. By value, sparkling wines accounted for 20% of the global market (despite representing only 9% of the total volume exported).


In 2018, bulk wine exports (>10L) decreased in volume (-5%) but increased in value (+3.8%). BiB wine (2–10L) represented 4% of the volume and 2% of the value.


The five main importing countries – Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, France and China – accounted for more than half of total imports.

Early estimates of the 2019 harvest in the southern hemisphere

Early indicators of the 2019 harvest suggest a decrease in most countries in the southern hemisphere (in particular in Argentina, Brazil and Chile). The high temperatures of the Australian summer are likely to have affected the harvest there, and it is thought that the drought will still have a significant impact in South Africa. The only country that should see its harvest increase from the previous year is New Zealand.


The OIV is the intergovernmental organisation 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.


kha: thousands of hectares khl: thousands of hectolitres mhl: millions of hectolitres bn: billion

hectoliter = 26.42 U.S. Gallons

1 one hectare contains about 2.47 acres.

EUR: euros