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Global wine shortage looms, says report

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Here’s a sobering thought for you. A global wine shortage may be around the corner.

According to a report released this week by Morgan Stanley Research, there was a global undersupply of about 300 million cases of wine in 2012, the largest deficit recorded in almost 50 years.

A major reason is because wine production in Spain, France and Italy--the world’s three largest wine-producing countries making 60 percent of the world’s wine--has sharply decreased as less land is being used to grow grapes.

Meanwhile, wine consumption worldwide has increased 8 percent since 2000. The report finds that wine production peaked in 2004 and has been steadily declining ever since.

“The data suggests there may be insufficient supply to meet demand in coming years, as current vintages are released,” the report concludes.

While Europe produces a majority of the world’s wine, consumption is decreasing in old world countries like France, Spain, Italy and the U.K. But the decline in European consumption is greatly offset by an increased demand in countries like the U.S. and China. According to the report, both countries are projected to consume over 400 million cases of wine each by 2016.

The U.S. guzzles roughly 12 percent of the world’s wine and has doubled its per capita consumption since the start of the century. In China, wine consumption has increased almost 150 percent in the past five years.

There is some good news in all of this. Another report released this week by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine suggests that there will be a global increase in wine production in 2013. However, the report also states that the world’s vineyards are shrinking and it will be hard to make supply keep up with demand in the long run.