Since the vote in June 2016 for the UK to exit the European Union, wine prices have been on the rise. And in summer 2017, there seems to be no let up in these price increases.
According to recent figures released by the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), price rises are only going to get worse.
Average price up by 4%
Between the Chancellor’s Budget announcement in March 2017 and 17 June 2017, the average price of a bottle of wine rose to £5.58. This is an increase of 4% on 2016’s prices for a bottle of wine in the UK, according to the WSTA.
The information released by the WSTA came at the same time of the first reading by Parliament of the Brexit ‘divorce bill’ that would shift EU laws into UK legislation.
Already up in 2016
Average prices for wine had already exceeded the £5.50 per bottle mark for the first time ever in the last quarter of 2016. And, the WTSA warns that the whole industry, including fine and premium wines, are facing a “triple whammy” of pricing pressures going into Autumn 2017.
The WTSA said at its annual conference on 12 September: “For the first time we can see the how prices have been affected by the triple whammy resulting from Brexit’s impact on the pound, rising inflation and the 3.9% inflationary duty rise on alcohol imposed by the Chancellor at his Budget in March.”
Autumn budget looms
The WTSA also warns that the Autumn Budget is likely to see alcohol duty rise yet again by inflation. They have called on the government to have a period without tax rises.
A YouGov poll commissioned by the WSTA clearly shows the concern levels by consumers about the ever -increasing cost of food and drink. It found that four out of five respondents to the poll were worried about the prospect of paying higher prices in this sector.
However, the WTSA also says that it is “committed to working with the government in order to achieve the best possible deal in Brexit negotiations.” What this will mean for the wine industry is yet to be seen.