Lack and rising costs: the wine world is getting sour

the essential
Glass bottles, cartons and even lids: The shortage is getting worse with the international crisis. In addition, there is now the staggering increase in energy.

“It is not a small question, for us it is now the most important question”: Saint-Frichoux winemaker Jean-Claude Pujol, like all his colleagues, has to face shortages and increases in successive costs; increases that accelerate and rise. The letter received from one of its suppliers, who himself was very worried about his own future, illustrates a deteriorating situation. The company in question, which is based in Hérault, has decided to revise its invoicing … Every fortnight to adjust it to the increase in energy costs and therefore create “a percentage of energy surcharge, recalculated every two weeks depending on whether it every fortnight in gas and electricity prices “. The company intends, “in this way […] immediately pass on falls and increases in energy prices. All [vos] confirmed orders will then include a line “temporary energy surcharge”, the amount of which will be confirmed at the rate applicable on the billing date. “In the first fifteen days of April, this overbilling is already estimated at 10% at 45%.

Among the reasons for this increase are the consequences of the increase in the cost of road freight, written up by 10% of the profession. This supplier is bitter: “The dazzling rise in gas caused by the war in Ukraine has thrown us into a crisis that jeopardizes our survival,” he concludes.

The increase in energy thus contributes to the shortage of raw materials that could already be felt during the Covid crisis (soda, plastic, cardboard, etc.).

Jean-Claude Pujol lists the increases that affect the balance of his farm (130 hectares in Minervois): “ALL supplies have increased, and this concerns the cellar, the bottling, but also in the vineyard: plant health products, fertilizers, trellis + 30%, he lists “I just validated a label: +17 to + 20% over 2 years! In addition, the paper supply is tight. On the glass white (for rosés) we had + 20% over a year for magnums and in addition it is almost impossible to find” .

There is a shortage of white bottles, confirms Camille Foussat, from the Rose and Paul property in Arzens, who has also noticed a 100% increase in the energy bill since the start of the crisis in Ukraine.

Bastien Rinn, sales assistant at Domaine Delmas in Antugnac, cites the same alarming observation: “The price increase is real and already effective, he emphasizes. For bottles, we were told this week an increase of 10% (without guarantee that it will stop You have to add to it all that the previous increases (almost 15% in not even 6 months) .This makes the situation very complicated to adjust, because since last summer, the dry matter has only increased.It is difficult to pass on the increases in our prices knowing that we can not estimate future developments. “

Also read on page 29 (Limoux)

besides gel

The president of the Syndicat des Vignerons de l’Aude, Frédéric Rouanet, does not hide his concern about the wine companies’ cash flow: “Over these difficulties comes the question of frost, he recalls. In March and April, winemakers receive the first installments of the previous harvest. For some are down, or sharply down. For others, they are non-existent “. The late frost last spring relates to “25% of production in Occitania, specifies Ludovic Roux, chairman of the Talairan cooperative cellar and president of the Audois Cooperators, also elected to the Chamber of Agriculture. It is an average. For some it is much more”. Although 2021 was a very good year, especially for exports, the increase in costs will penalize cash positions, which do not all have the same resilience. “This is not the case in Aude, but the producers have decided to stop the production of rosé because they have not found white glass bottles,” notes Ludovic Roux. “We are facing three years of successive crises. The situation has become particularly tense with the rise in energy prices,” he concludes.

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