Global Market Update via Ciatti Company
July marked the middle of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and expectations are for healthy crops across all of the major producing regions. After a disappointing 2011 crop, especially in California and Italy, a larger crop would be welcome relief to many buyers in the bulk market. Prices moved higher at a rapid pace in California over the past twelve months. It appears that a plateau has been reached, and some pricing softness exists for certain varieties in the commercial growing areas. Italy looks to rebound from last year’s small crop, which should help take some of the pressure off of the recently overheated market in Spain. French producers in the Languedoc saw a larger than usual crop in 2011, and are still looking to move some white inventory. The economy in Europe continues to be a cause for alarm in the bulk market, as buyers continue to send messages of concern about pricing and corresponding consumption levels.
Wineries in the Southern Hemisphere continue to push along, with strong sales reported in Chile and Australia. Argentine suppliers continue to move forward with good sales on Malbec, Muscat and generic varietals. New Zealand pricing has continued to head in an upward direction, as the 2012 crop proved to be too small to cover the market demand. South Africa continues to be a favorite destination for buyers in Europe, as the Rand and the larger than normal white grape harvest, have allowed for strong buying opportunity. Overall, the market seems to have cooled slightly, after the extreme highs experienced over the past twelve months. It remains to be seen whether this is a trend, or simply a seasonal lull, as many players in Northern Hemisphere are now deep into their summer holidays.
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