Brexit is forc­ing up wine prices, warns WSTA

Decanter - - A MONTH IN WINE -

WINE PRICES ARE ris­ing – and the worst is yet to come, ac­cord­ing to the WSTA (Wine & Spirit Trade As­so­ci­a­tion), the UK’s lead­ing wine in­dus­try group. It blamed the ef­fects of the Brexit vote.

Fig­ures for the first three months of 2017 showed that the av­er­age price of a bot­tle of wine in the UK has reached an all-time high of £5.56. The WSTA added that prices rose by 3% in the first quar­ter of 2017, ver­sus only a 1% rise across the pre­vi­ous two years.

WSTA chief ex­ec­u­tive Miles Beale com­mented: ‘Last year the WSTA pre­dicted that Brexit and the fall in the value of the pound, com­pounded by ris­ing in­fla­tion, would force the UK wine in­dus­try to up their prices. Sadly this is now a re­al­ity as an av­er­age priced bot­tle of wine in the UK is at an all-time high.’

The WSTA fore­casts that there is worse to come, as the ‘triple-whammy ef­fect of Brexit, in­fla­tion and duty in­creases takes its toll’.

Not all wine re­tail­ers agree, and some larger play­ers will un­doubt­edly look to the sup­ply chain to ab­sorb costs. How­ever cost pres­sure on im­porters, wine mer­chants and res­tau­rants has in­ten­si­fied to such a point that price rises are be­com­ing ev­i­dent, ac­cord­ing to the WSTA.

Look­ing ahead to the Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions, the WSTA has sought to put pres­sure on the UK gov­ern­ment over duty tax, and to pre­vent English ports from be­com­ing a ‘lorry park’ if the UK leaves the EU cus­toms union.

The av­er­age price of a bot­tle of wine in the UK is now £5.56

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