Romania will face in 2022 some important challenges for the wine market, especially because of the international contex, but also because some raw material prices have increased significantly even before the start of the conflict in Ukraine.
The price of glass, for example, has increased by over 50%, which would automatically mean a minimum 3% increase in the price for entry-level wines. Cork stoppers, manufactured almost exclusively in Portugal, have also increased by 10-30%, depending on quality.
But the main problem today is the rapid increase in fuel prices, which means not only the significant increase in distribution and production costs, but the entry into an inflationary spiral. Already, the NBR forecasts a double-digit inflation for 2022, and this, along with the impact of raw material purchases at the new prices, will make itself felt in the final price paid for each bottle.
The re-entry into normality of the horeca market could be of great help in these circumstances, but it is difficult to assess the real impact of the reopening of restaurants at full capacity. On the one hand, the return to on-site consumption could lead to a stagnation or even a decrease in online and retail sales. On the other hand, it is still unclear whether the consumption habits strengthened during the pandemic (at home, with friends) will be preserved or not. So far, the increase in the number of customers in restaurants has been below expectations, but the coming of spring could change that.
Last but not least, the sales of wine from horeca are primarily aimed at the premium segment, which has an important component of imported wines, so the impact on the Romanian producers would still remain small for a while. If we add the problem of commercial addition, often discouraging for the average customer, the portrait of a difficult year for Romanian wine is outlined.