Global wine consumption and COVID

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Global wine consumption decreased less than expected in 2020.

According to the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), the world wine market has been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic but has shown itself to be rather resilient. Indeed, world wine consumption fell by 3% in volume in 2020, a significant decline (its lowest level since 2002) but less than feared by professionals in the sector in view of the scale of the health crisis.

The year was marked by lockdowns and closing down of cafes, hotels and restaurants (CHR) but also by "Trump taxes" on certain European wines and increased Chinese taxes on Australian wines. However, the increase in wine sales in supermarkets have compensated quite well the closing down of the CHRs.

"The Covid-19 has caused all kinds of transfers", notes Pau Roca, director general of the OIV. First "between the distribution channels, consumption in bars and restaurants transferred" to sales in supermarkets and online.

Transfers then between countries, tourist destinations being affected by the absence of visitors who have therefore consumed wine at home. Finally, transfers between premium wines and inexpensive wines, for the benefit of the latter.

France remained the world's leading wine exporter in terms of value, with sales of 8.7 billion euros. But this amount fell by 10.8% (-1.1 billion).

For 2021, Pau Roca wants to be "quite optimistic", especially for the second part of the year. "I think that we will find a little normality thanks to the vaccines. And that we will have again some festive moments".

(source: Revue des Vins de France, 04/20/2021)