Chilean bottled wine prices fell an average of 14.6% on the international market in April, while the quantity of bottled exports increased by 5.2%, according to a recent report by industry advocacy group Wines of Chile.
Bottled wine represents 85% of the export market in Chile. The decrease follows a trend that has seen prices fall by 11.6% in the first four months of the year compared to the same period last year, reaching a low of 26.40 US dollars per case of 12 bottles.
Total profits on exports in April were 89.2 million, a 10.2% decrease compared to April 2008.
The biggest price drop for Chilean wine was seen in the United Kingdom, where prices decreased by 31.2%. The UK is the second largest export market for Chilean wine following the United States, where prices bucked market trends, increasing by 0.8%.
Prices in Brazil also broke with the four-month trend, showing a 5.3% price rise in April. The UK continues to consume the greatest volume of Chilean export wine.
Exports to the US increased 17% compared to the same four-month period last year, reaching 65 million US dollars. Exports to the UK, where the market is traditionally more sensitive than in the US, fell 18.1% in the same period.
René Araneda, executive vice-president of wine producer San Pedro Tarapacá and vice-president of Wines of Chile, said that the fall in prices was due to the global economic crisis and that the smallest producers were the most affected.
The crisis limits consumer spending power, noted Araneda, putting more expensive wines out of reach for many consumers. He also said it is difficult to maintain prices at their current levels.
By Matt Bostock - Santiago Times