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Spain : wine prices worrying as harvest approaches

Par Vitisphere Le 17 août 2010
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Spain : wine prices worrying as harvest approaches

hile Spain is preparing to harvest for the 2010 vintage, wine producers are worrying about the price of grapes. Some have already decided to leave the grapes on the vines.
The situation is particularly worrying in the Castille-La-Mancha region, champion exporter of wine in bulk. Here the average price for a litre of wine is 0.43 Euros to the export market, according to figures published by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture.
At the other end of the scale, the average price of Rioja wine is 4.3 Euros a litre, ten times the price of La Mancha’s wines. However, even in this prestigious production area there are worries, as for two years now the weak price of the grapes has not covered production costs. The UAGR, Union of Rioja Growers and Producers, is calling for an overhaul in the first two weeks of September, to denounce the abuse of its dominant market position in the commercial and production sectors. Even though the market is balanced, grape prices are decreasing. The union is calling for government intervention, and is demanding :
· The immediate creation of a system of price observation, which must publish monthly reports on the price of grapes and of wine,
· The creation of a model contract of compulsory purchase, which sets out purchase price and credit periods,
· The immediate publication of production costs per kilo of grapes, which would serve as a reference point. According to the union, the production cost for a kilo of grapes is 0.60 Euros, but per kilo producers are only being paid between 0.35 and 0.45 Euros.

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