After a year 2012 with a poor production caused by difficult weather conditions, in 2013 the grapes output was significantly bigger and quality improved. European vine planters had a good year, with a 15.2 pc output increase compared to 2012, according to estimations of Copa-Cogeca. In Romania things are even better, with an approximately 20 pc increase, equivalent to more than 4 million hectoliters, the National Employers’ Union of Vine and Wine (PNVV) announced, quoted by money.ro. Favourable weather conditions and the increased areas planted with grape vine that reached maturity were the main drivers of the production increase. “Prices are stable and we can expect a good season. The EU lost some markets last year because of the small output, and now it must regain them,” said Thierry Coste, president of the ‘Wine’ workgroup of Copa-Cogeca. According to the same source, the harvest was delayed in many countries by weather conditions, with the exception of Greece. The biggest world producer, France expects an output increase of 7 pc, however under the average of the last five years, the French Ministry of Agriculture announced. While Italy seems to be in the same situation, estimations are very optimistic for Spain, where approximately 30 pc of surfaces had not been harvested by October 10, and Hungary, while Greece had a production of very high quality. There also seems to be an output increase in Portugal, while Poland, Austria and Germany expect stable figures. “Despite the positive prospects, we must remain prudent. We must closely monitor things, in order to prevent future crises,” said Pekka Pesonen, secretary general of Copa-Cogeca. He asked European negotiators to prepare the free trade agreement with the USA that will guarantee the protection of geographic trademarks and traditional mentions, as the US market is the largest destination for wine exports.