Global wine production falls in 2016

Bad weather was behind a 2016 decline in world wine production

World wine output dropped in 2016, with volumes in France and Argentina seeing the largest declines, an international wine body said Tuesday.

Bad weather in many regions was behind the 3.2 percent fall in global production to 267 million hectolitres (mhl) from 276 million in 2015, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) said at a news conference in Paris.

France, the world's second-biggest wine producer after Italy, lost 3.5 mhl in output volume and Argentina, the world's number nine, 3.9 mhl.

In percentage terms, the biggest losers were Brazil, where production fell 55 percent, and Hungary, where it dropped by 38 percent.

Latin American production was hurt by the El Nino weather phenomenon and excessive humidity, OIV director general Jean-Marie Aurand said.

Meanwhile, drought cut South Africa's production by six percent.

The word's total wine-growing surface remained stable at 7.5 million hectares, the OIV said.

China added to the total size of its vineyards, while wine-growing surfaces declined in Turkey and Portugal.

Italy, France, Spain, China and Turkey together make up more than half of the world's total vineyard size.

The world's wine drinkers guzzled a total of 242 mhl last year, a slight increase from 2015 but still well below levels seen before the financial crisis cut consumption.