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A Storm in the Glass of Wine
The sudden and unexpected change in the economy of Greece managed to iron out the crease in the brows of industry people, albeit for a very short time span. In no time the wine market faced another hard time and the situation was no better than the regular stock market.
The stalemate condition of the market is still prevailing. After enjoying a steady growth in both developed and emerging markets across the globe and creating a promising consumer base, the wine market in recent times is stepping ahead more cautiously with a sharp eye towards the money market and the dip there is quite evident as The fine wine investment index, Liv-ex, fell by 4% in May and is at its lowest level since early 2010.
Ahead of the US session, trading in European equities was jerky. However the dip has been temporary and both US and European equities have popped back into positive territory following the release of the ECB semi-annual stability report, which implied the ECB would back a euro-zone wide deposit guarantee scheme.
Markets continue to be cautious ahead of Greek election. EUR/USD traded in a small range, slightly weaker around $1.2495 heading into the European open. Since the beginning of the crisis in Greece in October, 2009, and most importantly, due to the recession on the domestic market, many wine estates have concentrated on export. The strategy has generated fruit. Until as late as 2009, about 80 percent of the production was consumed in Greece. But until as early as in 2011, wine exports in Greece had increased by 7.5 percent, compared to 2010.
“Greece’s wine exports are on the rise. The figures make us look forward to the future optimistically”, Sotiris Ioannou, president of the Greek Interprofessional Organisation for Vine and Wine. “This is as well the result of our vintners being supported by the EU. Now, the wine marketing program with 7 million euro, yields first results.”
The strengthening by the EU and the positive result in export makes the wine estates present themselves more extroverted. They are intensifying their collaboration with social media and are taking part in road shows and competitions all over the world. Furthermore, the producers are concentrating on the peculiarities of domestic autochthonous sorts of grapes like Assyrtiko, Moschofilero, Agiorgitiko and Xinomavro as spearhead, which all present Greece’s terroir best.
One country that managed to go ahead despite the jittery condition of the market is China. The China wine market whose confident that its stellar growth in recent years has caught the attention of wine suppliers the world over and the Asian nation played host to the Vinexpo Asia-Pacific. Visitors to this year's Vinexpo Asia-Pacific were up 25%, according to final figures released by Vinexpo. Speaking at the closing press conference, Robert Beynat, chief executive of Vinexpo, said that he was most pleased by the demonstration of a growing Asian market.
“Our forecasts show that the Asian market will continue to grow – we expect a 4% increase in consumption by 2015. It is a very important thing. It’s not only the success of the show, but it's a question of is there a market. Yes, the market is there and the market is growing fast.”
However, the scenario was not as bright in the capital of wine as the price of top chateaux continued to drop. Falling prices have seen chateau owners criticised for waking up too late to market realities. Asian demand for new releases has slowed. Meanwhile, trade insiders say buyers are seeking older vintages that are ready for drinking now, and are cheaper in some cases.
“The campaign never really got going,” said Marcus Edwards, MD at Albany Vintners, “There are many reasons that merchants didn't buy. Mainly, we know negociants still have stocks, and we don't expect prices to rise between now and when the wine becomes physically available.”
Some economists believe investors may move into wine as a safe haven from volatile financial markets. However, Up to now, though, there is little sign of this.