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Brexit pushes wine prices to an all-time high

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Brexit pushes wine prices to an all-time high

The average price of a bottle of wine has surpassed £5.56 for the first time ever, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

WSTA’s latest Market Report (in the 12 weeks to 25 March) has revealed the average price of a bottle of wine has risen more in the last 12 weeks than in the last two years.

Over the last three months of 2016 the price of an average bottle of wine passed the £5.50 mark – the highest it had ever been. WSTA’s data shows that figure is now 3% higher at £5.56, compared with a 1% increase over the previous two years (2015 – 2017).

The rise has been credited to the impact of Brexit, which has seen a weak pound push up the cost of imports, leading to rising inflation.

The figures released by WSTA don’t take into account the 3.9% rise on alcohol duty announced by the chancellor in the March budget. This will add another 8p to the average bottle of wine. Currently, 56% of the money paid for a bottle of wine, the equivalent to £2.16, goes to wine duty costs.

Miles Beale chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “Last year the WSTA predicted that Brexit and the fall in the value of the pound, compounded by rising inflation, would force the UK wine industry to up their prices. Sadly this is now a reality as an average priced bottle of wine in the UK is at an all-time high.

“Unfortunately, for both British businesses and consumers, we are clear that this is not a one-off adjustment, but rather that wine prices will continue to rise. We all know that Brexit will be complicated, but something has got to give and government must start showing its support for the UK wine industry and the 275, 000 jobs that our industry supports by tackling our excessive duty rates at the autumn budget.”

The UK wine industry employs 172,000 people directly and a further 105,000 indirectly in the supply chain. It is the second largest trader by volume, followed by Germany. It generates £9.5bn to the Exchequer, including £4bn in duty, and contributes to the public purse more money than any other alcohol category.

The WSTA is the UK organisation for the wine and spirit industry, representing over 300 companies producing, importing, transporting and selling wine and spirits. It works with its members to promote responsible production, marketing and sale of alcohol.

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