(Photo: Marko Mrkonjic/PIXSELL) (Photo: Marko Mrkonjic/PIXSELL)

The Chamber said last week that the crisis caused by the coronavirus had strongly impacted the winemaking sector. The Chamber's Association of Wine Producers expect sales to plummet by up to 80 percent in the first six months.

"The Chamber has proposed that 43 million kuna in grants be allocated to reduce the unsold stock by distilling surplus wine," said the vice-president of the HGK Agriculture and Tourism Sector, Dragan Kovačević.

He also noted that the proposal entailed favourable loans for winemakers through the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development, including good insurance instruments and interest rates, a five-year maturity and one-year grace period.

The HGK says that the reduced consumption has caused unsold stock to reach its highest level since 2009. Additional import duties on European wines in the USA, which is the EU's main market, and the pandemic have all significantly destabilised the wine market in the EU, including Croatia's.

Currently, wine stocks are accumulating, notably, with bigger wine producers, which also leads to a lack of storage capacity, said the Chamber.

Source: HINA