Global wine production is expected to fall by as much as 4% in 2014, despite a rebound in France following last year’s small crop, says a new report from Rabobank.

Chile, Italy, Argentina and Australia are all expected to record significant production declines, while harvests in the US and Spain will almost certainly diminish after bumper crops in 2013.

‘With the exception of France, wine grape production in 2014 appears set to decline across nearly every major production region, compared to the large 2013 crop,’ Rabobank said in its quarterly report on the wine industry.

‘The International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) has yet to release its official estimate, but we believe that total global production could decline between 2% and 4%.’

Chile’s wine production fell by about 23% this year after severe frosts impacted white grapes in particular, while Italian production is likely to decline by about 15% thanks to poor weather and a smaller harvest in Sicily.

Rabobank said France would rebound from last year’s challenging vintage, but production in Languedoc was set to fall, while Spain would still record a good-sized crop, despite a decline on last year’s huge harvest.

Elsewhere, the 2014 harvest in Australia was 7% down on 2013, and production in Argentina declined by 8% on last year’s large crop, but New Zealand’s harvest hit a new record of 445,000 tonnes, up 29% on last year.

The US is likely to register a crop some 5-10% below last year’s record harvest, but still larger than most years prior to 2012, Rabobank said.

Written by Richard Woodard