Russia, China spur worldwide demand for wine

PARIS — With consumers in Russia and China developing a taste for wine, worldwide demand is expected to climb until 2012 despite the economic downturn, a French study said Tuesday.

"We believe that the effects of the economic crisis will be limited" in the wine sector, said Robert Beynat, director of Vinexpo, one of the world's biggest wine fairs held annually in Bordeaux.

Russia and China are expected to see a "fantastic increase" in demand for wine from 2008 and 2012, soaring by 24.4 percent and 36.6 percent respectively, the study by Vinexpo showed.

Wine lovers in those two countries will account for 58 percent of the growth in the international market and by 2012, Russians and Chinese are expected to drink more wine than Spaniards.

Worldwide demand for wine jumped six percent from 2003 to 2007, according to the study covering 114 wine-drinking and 28 producer nations.

Over the next four years, the United States is expected to become the number one wine market, surpassing France and Italy which have seen demand drop recently.

Global wine production is expected to increase by 3.83 percent over the next four years to reach 36 billion bottles.


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