This year’s European harvest should increase by 2.7% compared to 2014 and to the average of the last five years according to the EU’s recently published data on the first harvest estimates for the 28 Member States.
Italy is the European leader for 2015 (and thus the leading world producer) with an estimated harvest of 49 million hectolitres, meaning a 13% increase compared to the last harvest which was exceptionally low. It is ahead of France where the estimated harvest should be of 47.7 million hectolitres, an increase of 1% compared to 2014 and 4% on the average of the last five years. Finally, in Spain, the third European producer (and 3rd world producer), the harvest has been more mixed, with 42 million hectolitres down by 5% compared to 2014 but remaining in the average of the last five years.
Elsewhere in Europe, there seems to be a good harvest even though there are some contrasts.
Portugal, with an estimated potential of 6.7 million hectolitres, is experiencing an increase of 8% compared to 2014 and an increase of 6% on the average of the last five years. Austria with its excellent weather conditions has increased its production by 25% compared to last year and 13% on the average of the last five years. Bulgaria and Romania have also experienced a good harvests with a potential of 1.5 and 4 million hectolitres respectively, up 85% for the first and 6% for the second compared to 2014.
Some countries are less well-off, notably Germany, Hungary and Greece. In Germany and Hungary, the harvest has decreased respectively by 5% and 10% compared to 2014 but still up 3% and 6% over the last five year period with a potential of 8.7 and 2.5 million hectolitres. Finally in Greece, the situation is more complicated with a decrease of 5% compared to 2014 and 11% compared to the five year average.