15 June 2018 – Market conditions across Europe are the worst in 25 years, according to VINEX regional manager, Inge Straetmans.
In this week’s assessment of the overall European market Staetmans has reported “it’s the worst time ever to be a wine buyer” due to the lack of availability of quality wine at the right price and on-going uncertainty in the market. “In the 25 years I have been in the business I have not seen this before where buyers will openly show you their needs. They would never do that normally,” said Straetmans.
It means buyers are “scared” of making the wrong decisions for the wrong wines and where possible are looking to work with suppliers they know. But the market conditions mean they are having to explore other options, particularly from Eastern Europe. This is particularly the case as an alternative to Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris from traditional markets like the Alsace. Where there are shortages in bulk supply, Eastern Europe is also being seen as an alternative option in bottled wine.
There are particular problems in sourcing Vin de Provence rosé, IGP Méditerannée, good quality Bordeaux and Sauvignon Blanc, around 12.0% abv, from South West France, as well as juicy red wines like Syrah at 13.0% abv.. “We’ve traded a lot of Corsican rosé this year to replace Côtes de Provence,” said Straetmans.
The fact there are lower volumes of South African wines on the market has had a knock-on effect on the European market, maintaining price pressure. French producers, though, could benefit this year as there is not that much difference in price and quality between Vin de Pays D’Oc and Chilean wine this.
As for what is in demand in Europe Straetmans singles out South African Chenin Blanc. “We need South African Chenin Blanc in big volumes, whoever can deliver that will be king!”.