Import costs have spiked dramatically due to the plummeting value of the pound after last year’s Brexit vote, leading to a 3% increase in wine prices for the first quarter of 2017, said the WSTA.
This compares with a 1% increase in the price of wine over the three years up to 2017, it claimed.
Operators can expect the average cost of a bottle of wine imported from the European Union to increase significantly.
The average price of a bottle of wine, according to the WSTA’s Market Report, for the 12 weeks to 25 March is up by 19p a bottle.
Imports rise by 29p a bottle
Towards the end of 2016, the WSTA warned that, in the space of a year, we could expect EU wine imports to the UK to rise by an average of 29p a bottle.
WSTA chief executive Miles Beale 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.
“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.”
Yet, the price hikes caused by the weak pound do not take into account an inflationary duty rise of 3.9%.
Beale continued: “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 in the autumn Budget.”
The price of a bottle of wine
More than half (56%/£2.16) of the price of a bottle of wine in the UK is duty, which rises to £2.77 for sparkling wine, claimed the WSTA.
In October last year, The Morning Advertiser reported operators’ concerns over the rising cost of wine following the Brexit vote.
Paul Berry, owner of Devon freehouse the Swan in Bampton, Derbyshire, said: “We will try and hold off on raising prices. I’ve spoken to one supplier who’s said the same.
“I feel that for us, particularly being in a more rural area of Devon, that we have to be a little price cautious. We charge £5 for a glass of Prosecco at the moment, which is think is pretty good value. And [raising prices] is difficult because customers do notice.”
He argued you can’t explain price hikes to customers as they would not understand.