Amsterdam show offers the latest market outlook for bulk wines

Friday December 01 2017 by Vitisphere

- Photo credit : WBWE

There was a tangible vibrancy this year at the WBWE which took place in Amsterdam on November 20 and 21, where instead of gradually building up to their normal crescendo, crowds began to throng as soon as the doors opened. For the buyers and brokers representing 60 nationalities, the event was not only about consolidating existing relationships but also attempting to locate supplies at ‘manageable’ prices. Producers, on the other hand, were looking to meet the needs of their existing clientele and urging new customers to wait until 2018. “Our production has dropped from 50,000 hl to 37,000 hl this year”, said a frustrated Stéphane Roques, managing director of the Florensac co-operative winery in Hérault. “It is a major problem. We are here to prepare the 2018-2019 buying season”.

Volatility of Spanish prices considered damaging

Describing current pricing in Languedoc as “bullish”, Joël Baconin, head of winemaking at Domaines des Marins in Capestang, Hérault which markets 200,000 hl of wines entirely in bulk, commented that “buyers are not scrambling to buy”. The yo-yo effect on pricing in some producer countries such as Spain creates a volatility that French producers claim is damaging to them and also undermines the image of Spanish wines. “Prices in Spain have virtually doubled this year”, noted Inge Straetmans, a former buyer with Belgian supermarkets Delhaize, Colruyt and Spar who founded her own bulk buying and sourcing company, Wines & Stories, in 2016. “If prices stay at that level, Spain will have problems because in a normal year, buyers will go elsewhere. Spain will have to improve quality to justify that kind of pricing”. 

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