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Drought hits Australia's grape yields

Published:  23 July, 2008

Australia: Australia's drought-hit 2008 grape harvest is likely to be down by 800,000 to 1.3m tones.

Both the Winemakers' Federation of Australia's drought taskforce and the Wine Grape Growers' Australia organisation are warning of the reduced yields, but have indicated that it was proving difficult to anticipate actual reductions, hence the variation in production estimates. A revised forecast is set to be announced in November.

It has also been predicted that tough 2007 growing conditions will result in a change in mix from fruit cultivated in irrigated inland regions to cooler areas of Australia that have been less affected by water access or drought problems.

The wine industry organisations are predicting vendors that sold in bulk last year will come under pressure as a result of the weather conditions, but the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation still expected total UK sales to increase for the next five years.