Global wine stocks are at their lowest for a decade, according to the report

Global wine stocks are at their lowest for a decade, according to the report

Global wine stocks are at their lowest point of the past decade, according to recently-released research from Rabobank.

The bank's Wine Quarterly Q2 report, published today (12 July), says that the industry has moved "closer to balance" after years of "widespread oversupply pressures" as a result of the low stocks. The report also suggests rising grape and bulk wine prices are good news for many suppliers who have "lacked profitability" in recent years.

"As the balance of power subtly shifts in the supply chain, however, it is creating margin pressure on wineries that are finding it difficult to pass on the cost increases to consumers in the current environment," the report notes.

In the US, the study highlights that bulk wine imports have more than doubled from 58m litres to 143m litres in the first three months of 2012. Overall imports have also seen sharp growth, which is attributed to domestic wineries finding alternative supply sources due to California's "tight bulk wine market".

Chile led the way in the first quarter, with imports to the US up 102% in volumes to 7.3m cases, equating to a 30% rise in value to US$119.5m. Argentina and New Zealand have also seen spikes in imports to the US. 

The US's tight domestic grape market is also forcing up bulk wine prices globally, the report says, in some cases doubling last year's prices. 

Looking at currencies, the report predicted the depreciation of the Euro against the dollar will "ease and gradually reverse" as a slowing US economy increase the prospect of "further monetary easing across the Atlantic".