A challenging start to the marketing campaign for Bordeaux

Thursday December 20 2018 by Vitisphere

- Photo credit : Creative Commons CC0

The trend is firming up and worsening. In November 2018, wine purchase contracts registered in Bordeaux fell by 57% for bulk and 63% for bottled wines compared with last year. “This is the lowest level of the decade”, stated the latest statistics memo by the Bordeaux wine marketing board (CIVB). Over the first four months of the 2018-2017 campaign, bulk trade fell to 247,000 hectolitres, down 52%, while the first white and rosé 2018 Bordeaux contracts were being signed.

This halt in sales is obviously worrying the supply side, where malolactic fermentation is coming to an end and doomsayers are voicing their opinions, already predicting a price crisis for early 2019. The sales manager of a supplier of bottling equipment is one of them: “The main buyers of the Bordeaux shipping trade are not announcing any purchases until January or February. This is fuelling fears of a collapse in prices. Whether you are a glassmaker or a cork manufacturer, this decline has been a reality for the last three months. Orders are falling and heralding serious commercial difficulties”.

2017 shortfall

For Christophe Château, head of marketing and PR at the CIVB, the logic is mathematical: “With the 2017 crop down 40%, there was a 40% drop in supply. The only question we have to ask ourselves is: when will the market restart? In the first quarter of 2019? We hope that business will pick up soon with the arrival of the 2018 vintage”. The first official figures showing production levels in Bordeaux by appellation will emerge at the same time. The CIVB currently estimates the region’s wine production at between 5 and 5.2 million hl, but the issue is ascertaining actual yields per appellation, with large discrepancies likely from one area to the next.

 

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