Vinpro and Salba, the new SA censorship board?


In a major blow to transparency “VinPro and SALBA requested to remove the price ranges of bulk wine sold by cellars domestically and exported, as well as grape prices (producer cellar and trade) from the SAWIS website. This information will from now on only be available to registered SAWIS members.”  This is a severe blow to winepress freedom and shows just how murky the bulk wine business has become. The new organogram for Vinpro is shown below. Can you spot Rico Basson?

vs Vinpro and Salba, the new SA censorship board?

Could it be the greyshoes and safari suits read the Morgan Stanley October report into global wine?  CNN reports that “there’s just not enough wine in the world and the problem is only going to get worse. The industry is experiencing an ‘undersupply of nearly 300 million cases’ a year, according to a report from Morgan Stanley Research.

Australia-based analysts Tom Kierath and Crystal Wang say the shortage comes despite the fact that there are one million wine producers globally, making 2.8 billion cases each year. About half of that comes from Europe. But that’s not enough to keep up with worldwide demand. Global production fell by more than 5% last year – to its lowest level since the 1960s – primarily due to bad weather in France and Argentina. Production in Europe alone dropped 10% in 2012, the report said. That same year, worldwide consumption rose by 1%.”

But having read the report, I would advise SA producers to read it with a salt cellar at hand. For SA is summarized as being “plagued by oversupply due largely to still increasing production (despite some removal of capacity) and weaker exports, which have been in decline for 5 years. Export prices are amongst the lowest globally as the country is increasingly reliant on value focused markets such as the UK and Germany.” The report was published this month so how did it escape the crystal ball of Crystal that SA exports are up 42% this year to well over half a billion litres. With advice like this, no wonder global financial markets are in a pickle.

The report continues “overall export prices are amongst the lowest globally as the country has been forced to export a large amount of low-quality bulk product to markets like the UK and Germany.” Is this why Vinpro and SALBA are starting to behave like clams?