The UKs wine market is expected to see an uptick from the recovering economy

The UK's wine market is expected to see an uptick from the recovering economy

The UK’s improving economy is expected to boost wine consumption and offer “relief” for producers operating in the country this year, according to a new report. 

In its latest ‘Wine Quarterly’ study, published today (6 February), Rabobank flagged that falling growth in real wages and the “miserable economic environment” in the UK have driven down consumption. But, the report added: “Improving economic fundamentals should begin to provide more support to wine consumption.”

"There are signs that our winter of discontent is passing," the report said. 

The recovery, Rabobank said, will come about “despite many of the old pressures remaining, as suppliers deal with rising excise tax rates and a concentrated grocery retail sector”. The UK’s wine and spirits sector is facing another rise in duty rates in next month’s Budget, unless a campaign to persuade the Government to scrap the increase is successful.

Today’s report suggests that consumers who have been “bruised and battered” from the economic downturn are “far more digitally connected” and have “become more experimental in their habits".

“Suppliers that can make sense of this environment will find that all may not be lost in the UK market and that better times lie ahead,” Rabobank said. 

Globally, Rabobank flagged that French, Italian and Spanish export volumes dropped in 2013, mainly as a result of falling bulk wine demand. Australian exports also declined, while New Zealand returned to growth, due to strong demand from Northern Europe and the US, the report said. 

In the US, a large harvest in 2013 has led to a 25% drop in bulk wine imports into the country, Rabobank said.