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Brexit set to push up wine prices

21 October 2016 by

The price of a bottle of wine could go up by 29p as a result in the fall in the value of sterling and the potential for increased import tariffs after the Brexit vote.

According to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, the cost of importing EU wine could go up by £225m a year as a result of the 15% drop in sterling's value since 23 June. It said that the cost of importing wine from outside the EU could also rise by £188m per annum, with the combination of the two amounting to the equivalent to a 10% hike in total alcohol duty.

Suppliers have begun to announce price rises, though some are holding off until the new year to give operators visibility through the busy Christmas trading period.

Miles MacInnes, managing partner at hospitality wine specialist Jascots, said: "With the important Christmas period approaching, we've made the decision to freeze our prices until the end of the calendar year. We hope that by doing this, we'll enable our clients to take full advantage of the business opportunities over the coming months.

"Only when we have both the latest harvest information and foreign exchange rate, will we issue any price revisions."

He added that Jascots was currently receiving greater interest in its range of English wines.

Matthew Clark purchasing director Simon Jerrome said the business was working with producers to come up with the best strategy.

He added: "Like most companies we have hedged for some of this but it's such a dramatic change that we have to look at it and no doubt there will be some announcements to come."

Chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association chief executive Miles Beale said that the industry should be under no illusions that wine prices would increase

"This is of grave concern to the wine industry and it is vital that government come out in support of the trade which generates £17.3b in economic activity," he said.

"We are just weeks away from the autumn statement. Any increase in duty, on top of the post-Brexit sterling devaluation, would have dire consequences on Britain's wine trade.

"It is not only consumers who will feel the impact of price rises, but also by more than a quarter of million employees in the world leading UK wine industry."

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