Nation & World

Wine prices may be lower this year

Big harvests, currency drop will help

A customer samples a glass of wine. (John Kolesidis/REUTERS)
A customer samples a glass of wine. (John Kolesidis/REUTERS)

Wine lovers will have something to toast about this year: Prices from several origins are set to become cheaper.

Prices of generic wines from Spain and Italy are easing because of a large harvest in 2018, while bottles from Argentina have become less costly due to the devaluation of its currency, Rabobank International said.

“Bulk wine prices at the end of the year started to reflect the impact of the large 2018 crop in Europe, with prices for Spanish and Italian wines showing the most relevant contractions,” Rabobank analysts led by Stephen Rannekleiv wrote in a quarterly report.

The big 2018 harvest “will have a profound impact on trends in 2019,” they wrote.

Still, consumers may pay more for quality. Entry prices are going down in many cases, but prices for certain varietals and qualities are holding well, the analysts said.

Also, online sales are growing, and margins for sellers are attractive due to there being a more premium mix than those available in brick-and-mortar stores, they said.

E-commerce can offer additional benefits such as an easier and cheaper geographic expansion, they added.

“In addition to convenience, online wine buyers search for uniqueness,” the report said. E-commerce provides consumers “products and an experience that they can’t find in their local shop, and they are prepared to pay more for it.”

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