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Portuguese winemakers call for urgent action over bottle prices

Wine producers in Portugal are calling for urgent action from the government over the rapidly soaring cost of glass bottles.

The National Association of Traders and Exporters of Wines and Spirits (ANCEVE) has asked government officials for “urgent intervention” over escalating glass bottle prices, which according to local reports, are “dramatically” damaging the Portuguese winemaking industry.

Speaking about the issue in a statement, the association said: “ANCEVE is asking the government to urgently establish a platform for dialogue so that, under its patronage, representatives of the wine and glass sectors can analyse the situation and seek the most effective way to address and solve this very serious problem.”

According to the association, despite a recent decrease in energy bills having a positive impact on shipping freight rates, the businesses are still hamper by the prices of glass bottles skyrocketing and this meant that “unfortunately, it has not yet had any impact on the supply of bottles, which continue to be placed on the market at record prices”.

The association explained: “From north to south of the country, wine producers are being confronted with glass costs that are on average more than 55% above pre-war values and with difficulties in their supply (energy tax, transport value and requirement for advance payment).”

The statement added: “For many producers, especially those in more competitive segments, the increase in the cost of glass, which has no parallel in other countries, leaves them dramatically out of the market” and highlighted how “there continues to be a shortage of many bottle models (unlike in other competing wine-producing countries), which has forced producers to constantly change procedures and labelling, in order to adapt production to the models available, which seriously affects the consistency of their commercial and marketing strategies”.

ANCEVE has also indicated that “according to data released by the Vine and Wine Institute, Portugal produced around 688 million litres of wine last harvest. Since most of the Portuguese wine is bottled, it is good to see not only the importance that glass has for this sector but also how wine is the main exporter of Portuguese glass to the four corners of the world”.

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