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Wine exports fall as drinkers trade down

Wine exports fall as drinkers trade down article image

The Australian wine industry lost more than $250 million in the 2008/09 financial year, a revenue drop of 10 percent, according to figures provided by the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation. AWBC senior analyst Peter Bailey said the move to cheaper wine by cash-strapped drinkers is the reason for the fall, citing higher demand for lower-priced bulk wine and a decline in popularity of bottled wine. The price of both types of wine fell by an average of 14 percent, now at $3.24 per litre, which is the lowest in more than a decade. The AWBC Wine Export Approval Report named the global financial crisis, exchange rate volatility, continuing intense competition from other suppliers, tightening margins, and supply and demand imbalances as continuing challenges for the industry. The up side was that "despite the trading conditions, [export] volume was still the second highest on record for a financial year" even though absolute value came in lower than in 2007/08. The UK and USA remained our best customers in volume and value respectively. Our fastest growing market was China, which grew by 51.3 percent, buying $93.5 million worth of Australian wine products.

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