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Spain will be the second world wine power despite the 20% fall in the harvest

The harvest is progressing rapidly, with the forecast that the harvest will fall by at least 20% due to drought and other climatic adversities, although Spain will be placed second in the world ranking, behind Italy, and ahead of France, according to sources in the wine sector.

Madrid, September 13 (EFE) .- The harvest is fast moving, with forecasts that the harvest will fall by at least 20% due to drought and other climatic adversities, although Spain will be in second place in the world ranking, behind Italy, and ahead of France, according to sources in the wine sector.

The year is characterized by rallies of the the grape and the good moment of market, although it is tarnished in zones like Castilla-La Mancha by complaints of the agricultural sector on possible pricing of the buyers for to avoid higher rises and over "chaptalisation" (addition of sugar to increase alcoholic, illegal graduation) of some wineries.

The president of Agro-food Cooperatives, Ángel Villafranca, has detailed to Efe that this year will obtain the worse world harvest in more than a decade and, therefore, the markets have been "active" in the countries of the Southern Cone - Argentina and Chile-, which have experienced "important" prices and demand.

A situation that is expected to repeat itself after the Spanish harvest, has advanced.

about 35 million hectoliters for Spain, although the estimates "are adjusting downwards" every day, as the weeks without rains advance.

From La Rioja, the secretary general of ARAG-Asaja, José Antonio Torrecilla, explained that the harvest started on August 10 in the Community, with precocity, and could conclude during the first week of October to

Until September 10, 47.5 million kilos of grapes have been collected, according to Torrecilla, who estimates that when the campaign ends production in the Denomination will range between 300 and 350 million kilos, from 64,000 hectares on which a "staggered" performance zones and affection due to the frost of April.

As a novelty, has pointed out regarding the three historical appeals in the DOC Rioja (Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja) that has been decided to modify the latter, which will be replaced by "Rioja Oriental", as the term "Baja" may be misunderstood by consumers.

As for prices, he pointed out that they are "very, very interesting" and values ​​ranging between 1.10-1.50 euros per kilo for red varieties and 80-90 euro cents for white are reached.

COAG wine manager Joaquin Vizcaino, estimated 18 million hectoliters for Castilla-La Mancha and 35-37 million nationwide.

Vizcaíno has criticized "what seems a price control" by the industrial, since the great processors repeat the same prices in the south of the peninsular, reason why it demands an investigation to the authority of Competence (CNMC).

"For a year that there are little harvest and international demand, do not let prices rise, "marking unsatisfactory levels that can then replicate wine buyers, he insisted.

Vizcaíno has also denounced irregularities that are repeated, especially in Ciudad Real, because at the end of each harvest - "and it is so every year" - appear in the statistics "a couple of million hectoliters or three, and no one seems to know where. "

He says that there are wineries that may be using products of non-wine origin to increase wine inventories. responsible for wine of the agricultural organization UPA, Alejandro García-Gasco, has calculated in 19 million hectoliters the production that will have Castilla-La Mancha, first power

On the quotations, Garcia-Gasco has pointed out that prices have risen, although they started from very low levels and still do not cover production costs, or compensate the sector by the fall of the harvest that they will experience in La Mancha and other regions.

UPA has asked to the winegrowers to denounce if they detect breaches of the law of the chain which obliges to make contracts that indicate the prices; weight of the law "if wineries are discovered that resort to" chaptalisation ".

Italy expects to get this campaign about 40 million hectoliters and France, about 37.2 million.

Ginés Mena

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