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French Wine Prices Seen by Ciatti Rising as Inventory Runs Out

Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Bulk wine prices in France are climbing across the board and buyers are looking to Chile, South Africa and eastern Europe for supplies, according to wine broker Ciatti Co.

France’s inventory will probably sell out in the spring, with white and rose categories the first to be exhausted, San Rafael, California-based Ciatti, which says it’s the world’s largest broker of bulk wines, wrote in an e-mailed report today.

“We believe big players will continue to grow, merging with other groups to widen their market share and scopes, or absorbing smaller companies to control their production,” Ciatti said. “Some companies that are too dependent on the free bulk market will experience difficulties in 2013.”

France’s wine production slumped 20 percent to an estimated 40.7 million hectoliters in 2012 after weather damage and disease caused the harvest to plunge in the Champagne and Beaujolais regions, the Agriculture Ministry said in November.

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