5:12 P.M.

France braces for slump in wine output on weather woes

France’s wine production could drop by as much as 30% this year to its lowest level in decades after vineyards were hit by spring frosts and summer downpours, its farm ministry said. Overall production would be the lowest since at least 1970, ministry data showed.

In its first outlook for national wine output, the French farm ministry on Friday projected 2021 production at between 32.6 million and 35.6 million hectolitres, 24-30% less than last year. A hectolitre is the equivalent of 100 litres, or 133 standard wine bottles.

The weather toll on the harvest could bring further headaches for a French wine sector that has seen demand dented over the past year by the coronavirus pandemic and U.S. tariffs. The impact on the wider wine market may depend on whether coronavirus variants lead to further restrictions on hospitality and tourism, Reuters reported.

4:59 P.M.

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