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World wine output near 20-year low

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Paris - World wine output may fall 5.3% this year because of excess rain that spoiled grape harvests in South America and adverse weather in French vineyards, resulting in one of the smallest vintages of the past 20 years, according to an intergovernmental group.

Wine volume may fall to 259.5 million hectoliters from 273.9 million hectoliters last year, according to estimates from the International Organisation of Vine & Wine, a Paris-based group known by its French acronym OIV. Estimated output is equivalent to about 35 billion bottles.

Production will be close to that of the weakest years of of past two decades, 2012 and 2002, OIV Director General Jean-Marie Aurand said at a press conference. Rainfall in Latin America linked to the El Nino weather phenomenon slashed grape harvests there, while output in France will fall significantly below average, according to the OIV, which has 45 member states.

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