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France sees sharp fall in 2016 wine production

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AFP/Frederick von Erichsen

While wine output dropped worldwide last year, France’s output volume saw the largest decline, according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).


France, the world’s second-biggest wine producer after Italy, lost 3.5 million hectolitres (mhl) in output volume, the OIV said at a Paris news conference on Tuesday.

Argentina, world number nine, followed the European country with a loss of 3.9 mhl.

Bad weather in France and across the world has been blamed for the production decrease. Globally, wine production fell by 3.2 percent, according to the OIV.

Worldwide phenomenon

In percentage terms, the biggest losers were Brazil, where production dropped by 55 percent, and Hungary, where it fell by 38 percent.

Latin American production was hurt by the El Niño weather phenomenon and excessive humidity, OIV director general Jean-Marie Aurand said.

Meanwhile, drought cut South Africa's production by six percent.

The word's total wine-growing surface, however, remained stable at 7.5 million hectares, the OIV said. China added to the total size of its vineyards, while wine-growing surfaces declined in Turkey and Portugal.

Italy, France, Spain, China and Turkey together make up more than half of the world's total vineyard size.

The world's wine drinkers guzzled a total of 242 mhl last year, a slight increase from 2015, but still well below levels seen before the financial crisis cut consumption.

(With AFP)