Brexit pushes price of wine bottle to an all-time high

01 June 2017

Bad news for wine lovers, as the WSTA has revealed the price of a wine bottle is the highest it's ever been, down to none other than Brexit.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s latest Market Report has revealed the average price of a bottle of wine has risen more in the last 12 weeks than it had in the last two years, with the average price of a bottle of wine sold in the UK passing the £5.50 mark – now at £5.56.

The impact of Brexit, which saw the value of the pound plummet and push up the cost of imports leading to rising inflation, has led to a 3% increase on wine prices in 12 weeks to the beginning of 2017. Showing a significant price growth compared to just 1% increase over the previous two years (2015 to 2017).

However there is more bad news, as these latest figures do not take into account the impact of the 3.9% rise on alcohol duty inflicted by the chancellor in the recent March Budget, adding another 8p to the average priced bottle of wine.

The WSTA Market Report Q2 2017 (in the 12 weeks to 25 March), released today, shows the average priced bottle of wine is up 19p a bottle compared to £5.37 during the same 12 weeks of 2015 and up 16p from £5.40 during the same period in 2016.

What's more, forecasts predict that wine prices will continue to rise as the triple whammy effect of Brexit, inflation and duty increases take their toll.

'Last year the WSTA predicted that Brexit and the fall in the value of the pound, compounded by rising inflation, would force the UK wine industry to up their prices,' said Miles Beale chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

'Sadly this is now a reality as an average priced bottle of wine in the UK is at an all-time high. Unfortunately, for both British businesses and consumers, we are clear that this is not a one-off adjustment, but rather that wine prices will continue to rise.

'We all know that Brexit will be complicated, but something has got to give and government must start showing its support for the UK wine industry and the 275, 000 jobs that our industry supports by tackling our excessive duty rates at the Autumn Budget.'

On-trade
Beale also added: 'Nearly 240m bottles of wine were sold in pubs, bars and restaurants and are worth over £4bn in sales to the trade. Yet over the past 12 weeks we have seen wine price inflation reach its highest levels for years as producers and operators have to deal with higher import prices due to Brexit and the impact of the pound’s devaluation.

'However, more worryingly this doesn’t even include the latest 3.9% duty increase which is likely to push wine inflation in the on trade above the 6% we have seen over the past quarter and further impact premises operating on already tight margins.'

The WSTA reported 56% of the money Brits pay for a bottle of wine, the equivalent to £2.16, goes on wine duty. It is even more for a bottle of sparkling wine at £2.77...

The averaged priced bottle of wine sold in the UK each quarter over two years:

2015- Q1

£5.39

2015- Q2

£5.37

2015- Q3

£5.34

2015- Q4

£5.37

2016- Q1

£5.48

2016- Q2

£5.40

2016- Q3

£5.40

2016- Q4

£5.38

2017- Q1

£5.51

2017- Q2

£5.56

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