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Beaujolais Nouveau prices soar by 50 %, and shippers are left high and dry

By Vitisphere October 12, 2021
Beaujolais Nouveau prices soar by 50 %, and shippers are left high and dry
The soaring prices are also due to “an adjustment - prices hadn’t risen in a long time, in fact they even fell last year”, comments Philippe Thillardon, chairman of the Beaujolais and Lyonnais co-operative winery federation. - crédit photo : Interbeaujolais

t was very much a case of first-come-first-served this week as the Beaujolais Nouveau sales campaign got off to a flying start, taking negociants totally by surprise. Whilst the trade expected prices to be capped at 250 euros/hectolitre for Beaujolais Nouveau and €270 /hl for Beaujolais Villages Nouveau, one company apparently set the cat among the pigeons by launching this year’s ‘blitzkrieg’ with prices of €300 /hl for Villages primeurs.

As co-operative wineries began selling their wines, the campaign remained firmly on track at these launch prices. Initial market price lists issued by the Beaujolais wine marketing board show that the prices of Primeurs are in excess of €280 /hl for Beaujolais Nouveau and €300 /hl for Villages, an increase of 50 % compared to the ceiling price of €190 /hl which led to winegrower demonstrations last year. After the frost and mildew, “the crop is small and there is nothing to panic about”, said David Ratignier, chairman of the producers’ organisation, in a bid to put the hikes into perspective. He claims that “prices are not skyrocketing but increasing due to a small crop (barely 35 hl/ha for Beaujolais and 30 hl/ha for Villages). Constrained yields are compounded by lack of inventory and record sales”.

Compared to last year's downward pressure on pricing, Olivier Richard, secretary of the Greater Burgundy wine brokers’ organisation, claims “we're going from one extreme to the other. I've never seen anything like it – a quota system for Primeurs. There are so few wines and so few unspoken-for volumes that even if the trade is reluctant to pay the prices, the ball is in the court of the winegrowers”.

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