Wine Annual

An Expert's View about Wine in Chile

Posted on: 25 Feb 2012

Freezing weather delayed pruning and a severe drought in most production areas are being mentioned as the main adverse factors for an expansion.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Required Report - public distribution Date: 2/10/2012 GAIN Report Number: CI1204 Chile Wine Annual Approved By: Rachel Bickford, Agricultural Attaché Prepared By: Luis Hennicke, Agricultural Specialist Report Highlights: Wine production in 2012 will be similar or slightly less than the previous year. Freezing weather delayed pruning and a severe drought in most production areas are being mentioned as the main adverse factors for an expansion. Exports are likely to expand as production in 2011 reached an all time record level. Executive Summary: Chile’s wine production increased in CY2011, in spite of adverse weather conditions in some growing areas during the spring for a few red varieties. For CY2012 a similar or slightly smaller than last year output is expected. Lower than usual temperatures affected vineyards in most production area together with a severe drought in critical production regions. Chile has an estimated 8,000 producers of wine grapes. Planted area has increased over 70 percent during the last 8 years. Commodities: Wine Production: The fall in value of the U.S. dollar against the Chilean peso has caused margins to become tighter in the Chilean wine business. As sales are in dollars and costs are in pesos, the export oriented wine industry is tightening their belts and cutting costs wherever possible. For example, farmers are not increasing the planted area, only some of them are replanting old vineyards to varieties in higher demand. The Ministry of Agriculture’s estimates total planted area of vines for wine to be 117,000 hectares. Out of the total planted area, around 76 percent are red varieties. Close to 75 percent of all planted area is irrigated. Although wine production in CY2011 expanded over 14 percent when compared to the previous year reaching an all time record level of 1,046 million liters, an industry contact said that they expected an even larger expansion which did not occur mainly due to a drought which affected the Cabernet Sauvignon variety coupled with unusually cold spring weather in the Maule area (Region VII) home to almost 60 percent of the production area. The colder weather affected the size and numbers of bunches in each plant. As a result of a fall in stocks during 2010, prices paid to wine producers in 2011 increased another 14 percent in CY2011. Larger wineries buy wine and grapes from smaller producers who normally do not crush the grapes into wine or have a very small operation and do not bottle wine; instead they sell their wine in bulk to larger processors for blending. CY2012 wine production is expected to be similar or slightly smaller than last year. Most production in Regions IV, V and VI are being affected by a severe drought. The mountains in the northern areas had little or no precipitation during the last two years, as a result there is little or no snow melting and some rivers are running dry. This is affecting agricultural production in Regions IV (Coquimbo), Region V (Valparaiso, north and west of the Metropolitan Region, Santiago) and Region VI and VII (from Rancagua to Talca). Industry sources have reported that additionally to a production decrease in almost all wine production regions due to a lack of water availability, production will also be affected by a shortage of labor. Wine producers fear that a harvest right on time, for a good quality wine might be affected as migration of the labor force to the higher paying and long term employment of the mining sector will start affecting labor availability for the agriculture sector in general and specifically to the temporary labor of fresh fruit and wine sector. Wine producers claim that the labor cost has increased 25 percent in some areas since last season. Lower than normal temperatures in almost all production areas this delayed pruning to avoid frost damage during last winter. This delayed the growth of the vines and will affect to production. For the coming years no significant expansion in production is expected as over 95 percent of the planted area is in the full production stage. Consequently, production increases will depend on weather and management of the vineyards and on future expansion or replacement of lower producing vineyards. Table - Real Domestic Farm Gate Wine Prices (CH$ Per Liter)* 1981 1985 1990 1995 2000 2009 2010 20111 259 141 146 214 490 219 364 398 Exchange Rate: US$1.00 = CH$517.17 * Prices are in Dec 2011 Chilean pesos Source: ODEPA (Ministry of Agriculture) Over 46 percent of wine storage containers at Chilean wineries are made of stainless steel. This shows a high technological development standard for the industry. Additionally, 39 percent of the wineries use oak barrels, French or American, for an average of 3 to 5 years. Over 70 percent of Chilean wine makers believe that they have sufficient storage capacity for their production, while only 12 percent believe they need to expand. Table - Wine Production, Consumption and Exports Exports Area Planted Production Per Capita (Th. Has) (Mill. Liter) Consumption Mill. Liter Mill. US$ 1982 105 603 52 8 11 1990 65 398 25 43 52 1992 62 370 17 74 119 1994 53 411 13 111 143 1996 56 481 16 185 294 1998 75 547 17 251 540 2000 104 679 15 276 585 2002 109 574 15 356 610 2004 112 655 16 474 845 2006 115 845 15 520 965 2008 118 869 16 591 1,384 2009 118 1,009 16 696 1,390 2010 117 915 16 733 1,554 2011 117 1,046 17 667 1,703 2012 1/ 117 1,030 18 700 1,787 1/ FAS Forecast Source: National Agricultural Society (SNA) and Central Bank. Consumption: Domestic wine consumption in Chile is more or less stagnant. Statistics shows that average per capita has been recuperating slowly from a low of 13 liters in 1994 to a little over 17 liters last year. Beer consumption has increased substantially, exceeding 27 liters per capita during the same time period. Chile has the lowest per capita wine consumption for all major wine producing and exporting country. Chile’s per capita wine consumption suffers in comparison to 55 liters consumed in France and 40 liters in Argentina. Trade: Chilean wine exports fell in volume and increased in value during CY2011 when compared to the previous year. Higher prices obtained mainly bottled wine with denomination of origin (DO) explains the higher returns for exports in CY2011. The value of the bottled exported wine increased a little over 11 percent in 2011 and the value of bulk wine increased less than 1.5 percent. The United States has become Chile’s main wine export market, followed by the UK. Exports of bottled wine to China increased almost 71 percent in 2011. China is now Chile’s fifth largest total wine export market in volume and sixth in value. Industry sources indicate that Chile is the tenth largest wine producer and fifth largest exporter in the world. Improvements in quality and a good price/quality relationship help to keep or increase exports levels. Chile traditionally exports both bottled and bulk wine. A large number of wineries are making a big effort to increase premium-bottled wine exports; bottled wine expanded more than bulk wine in CY2010. Currently, there are more than 70 Chilean wineries exporting. Over 60 percent of Chile’s total yearly production is exported, supplying more than 100 countries. Table - Wine Export Volumes (Thous liters) Kind / Year 2009 2010 2011 Sparkling 2,438 3,306 3,797 Bottled 395,598 431,156 446,094 Bulk 298,476 298,611 589,544 TOTAL 696,513 733,082 667,754 Table - Wine Export Values (Thous.US$ FOB) Kind / Year 2009 2010 2011 Sparkling 9,885 12,871 14,653 Bottled 1,151,565 1,276,548 1,420,193 Bulk 229,314 264,754 268,314 TOTAL 1,261,799 1,554,173 1,703,160 Table - Wine Export Prices (FOB current US$ per Liters) Kind / Year 2009 2010 2011 Sparkling 4.05 2.89 3.86 Bottled 2.91 2.67 3.18 Bulk .77 1.48 .46 Average 1.81 1.90 2.55 Chile’s main export market for wine continues to be the US followed by the EU (United Kingdom). The industry continues its focus on the Asian markets. However, less than 10 percent of total exports go to that market, according to “Wines of Chile”, a public-private organization created to promote Chilean wine exports. Table - Wine Exports by Country of Destination Quantity (1000 Liters) Value (Thousand US dollars) 2009 2010 2011 2009 2010 2011 U.S. 139,080 118,682 129,989 241,914 241,699 273,258 U.K. 113,420 123,234 107,474 216,364 236,219 234,548 Germany 46,313 53,886 41,440 65,752 74,525 71,779 Japan 27,330 35,428 39,945 64,036 80,929 100,140 China 55,587 60,529 35,339 54,306 82,574 91,800 Netherlands 27,132 30,408 34,047 72,028 81,058 97,937 Brazil 21,855 24,605 27,927 62,572 70,887 89,902 Canada 38,069 30,461 26,364 77,789 89,543 93,765 Denmark 29,513 26,881 23,471 61,882 60,870 61,437 Sweden 12,713 12,916 13,876 77,789 38,050 40,881 Others 185,501 216,052 187,883 396,014 497,818 547,713 TOTAL 696,513 733,082 667,755 1,390,446 1,554,172 1,703,160 Source: ODEPA (Ministry of Agriculture). Wine is mainly imported from Argentina in tetra pack cartons and/or bulk to supply the domestic demand for in-expensive wine. U.S. wine is also available, usually in premium outlets. However, demand is dampened by prices well above the local market average. The current tariff rate for all U.S. wine imports into Chile is 6 percent ad valorem. There is also a 19 percent value-added tax and a 15 percent liquor tax applied to all wines sold in Chile (imported or domestic). The US-Chile Free Trade Agreement had no effect on Chilean wine export volumes to the US, as the duty for most wine is 6.3 cents per liter and will be phased out over a total of 12 years (2016). In the case of US wine exports to Chile, the 6% tariff remained at base rate until 2010. In January of 2011, duties will were reduced by 3.3%. In January 2012, duties were reduced by 21.7 %. In 2013, duties will be reduced by 40.0 %. In 2014, duties will be reduced by 58.3 %. In 2015, duties will be reduced by 76.7 %. U.S. wine can enter Chile duty free in 2016. In agreements signed with other trading partners, Chilean exports have a zero tariff since 2011 in all Mercosur member countries. Chile has already a free access in Canada, Mexico and the European Union. The present duty of 11.2 percent in China will be reduced to zero in 2015. The recent agreement signed with Japan calls for a 12 year phase out period from the present 15 percent duty. Policy: Wine production and exports are regulated and certified by the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) of the Ministry of Agriculture. All wine produced in Chile for both the domestic and export market is periodically sampled by SAG. SAG also issues the export certificates that include the wine’s origin and quality. The government provides no direct subsidies to support wine production or subsidize exports. Although Chile does have a successful market promotion campaign called “tastes of Chile” that includes wine. Promotions are managed by an organization called “Wines of Chile” which is co funded by both of the wine producers associations in Chile, Vinos de Chile and Chilevid. The marketing funds are used for generic promotion. The Government contributes 15 percent of the total amount, through its export promotion agency called ProChile. Wines of Chile spend most of its allocated budget on promotional activities in Canada, England, Germany and the United States. Activities include the “Tastes of Chile” campaign that promotes fruits and wine. The images used build on the natural beauty of Chile and the quality of the products. Another promotional program is the activity called “Wine Show and Tasting”. This activity takes place normally once a year. It consists of seminars and wine tasting. ProChile contributes with logistics and market information and the wineries pay the costs. With this strategy the wine industry is promoting wines in markets like Russia, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Posted: 25 February 2012

See more from Wine in Chile

Expert Views    
Agriculture Opportunities   By UK Trade & Investment
Wine Report   By Foreign Agricultural Service
Wine Annual   By Foreign Agricultural Service
Latest News    
Chileans Are Paying More For Wine   By Foreign Agricultural Service