YEREVAN, November 1. / ARKA /. Armenian wineries have bought this year 166,500 metric tons of wine grapes, 10% more than last year, Avag Harutyunyan, the chairman of the Union of Armenian Winemakers, told a news conference today.
He said originally 45 wineries and other processing enterprises were expected to procure 160,000 tons of grapes, but bought 6,500 tons more. He said the output was good this year.
However, according to Harutyunyan , there is also alarming statistic. In particular, 55 % of wine grapes are purchased by three major Armenian companies - Yerevan Brandy Company, Yerevan Noah Wine-Vodka and Brandy Company and Proshyan Brandy Factory.
"Of 45 companies ten buy only 200 tons of grapes, 16 larger companies – 10,000 tons, 18 - from 100 to 500 tons and six - up to 100 tons. This means we have a strong polarization in this sector with signs of monopoly," he said.
Harutyunyan added that 90-92 % of grape is bought for production of brandy. The grape for production of brandy was bought at 146 drams per one kg., while the prices of red grapes rose to 180 drams in Ararat Valley and 210 drams in Vayots Dzor region.
According to the agriculture ministry, in 2012 local wineries and other processing companies purchased 157,000 tons of grape. According to the National Statistical Service, 13.14 million liters of brandy, 4 million liters of wine and 195,700 liters of sparkling wines were produced in the first nine months of this year. .-0-