Beaujolais Nouveau prices soar for Japanese consumers

It is Beaujolais Nouveau time again, but this year the French wine may leave a bitter taste for Japanese consumers. Prices have surged due to the conflict in Ukraine and the weak yen.

The wine made with this year's harvest of grapes from the Beaujolais region traditionally goes on sale on the third Thursday of November.

A bar in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward held the first in-person countdown event in three years to celebrate the wine's arrival.

Japanese beverage company Suntory says prices are 40-to-120 percent higher than last year.

Freight costs have risen because aircraft are taking longer routes from Europe to Japan to avoid Russian airspace.

The Japanese currency's steep depreciation has also made imports more expensive.

Suntory said it received fewer orders for this vintage and its imports of Beaujolais Nouveau have declined to around 40 percent of last year's volume.