Florian Ceschi, Europe director of global wine and grape broker Ciatti, has revealed the three main ways in which Covid-19 has affected the bulk wine sector.
Speaking to members of the World Bulk Wine Exhibition, Ciatti said that coronavirus firstly presented an opportunity for the off-trade channel.
Ceschi points out that bulk wine producers are therefore less affected by Covid-19, owing to the fact they usually focus their sales on supermarkets rather than the on-trade. He said the large bulk industry players are seeing less of a downturn than the rest of the industry.
He added: “At the moment, the big players are probably suffering less than the small players since the only place where one can now distribute wines to the market is to the supermarkets.
“Most of the time on-trade was more cost-effective but this crisis has changed that and currently, the operators who can allow themselves to purchase containers in order to sell to supermarkets are the ones who will suffer the least this year.”
He also notes that wine has been deemed an essential product in most countries, and while imports and exports have experienced delays, wineries are still operating and logistics channels remain open.
He said Europe is in a stronger wine “because wine purchasing and selling transactions can be done through trucks and not ships”.
Finally, he said that global health pandemic is providing opportunities for international consultants like Ciatti.
He said the company was receiving “many requests from new clients” owing to the fact they cannot travel to the importing countries that currently need the wine. Ciatti has people in these markets who work with winery export managers when they can’t travel to sell their wines.
He also revealed that the company has been working closely with importers to find wines that match their requirements.
He concluded: “This crisis is also going to boost domestic wine consumption yet a country such as Spain, for example, is bound to export and others like the United Kingdom to import; there comes a point where the market cannot be balanced with domestic consumption.”
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