The value of Australian wine exports rose 8 per cent to $1.96 billion in the 12 months to September 30 this year, according to a new report.
This is the strongest rate of growth since export value peaked in October 2007.
The Export Report September 2015 released by Wine Australia shows the rate of value growth is currently outpacing volume which increased 5 per cent to 734 million litres.
“These export results are unambiguously good news for our grape and wine community,” said Wine Australia’s Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark.
“Clearly it’s still early days and the improvement we’ve seen in exports in the last 12 months hasn’t yet flowed through to the grape growing community at large but there are pockets of growers who reported improved prices in vintage 2015 and we hope to see this trend continue next vintage.”
In the last 12 months, the average value of exports above $7.50/litre rose 7 per cent to a record $15.45/litre.
This pattern of growth was seen across many of the premium price segments.
Exports of Australia’s highest-priced wines (above $50/litre) rose 54 per cent to a record $133 million.
While the segment accounts for only 0.2 per cent of total exports, it’s worth 7 per cent of total value.
Strongest rates of growth in premium wines
Mr Clark says the figures indicate that Wine Australia’s long-term strategic focus on Australia’s distinctive fine wine offering is being embraced by local winemakers and customers globally.
“We’re seeing the strongest rates of growth in our premium price segments,” Mr Clark said.
Wines above $10 per litre grew in value 28 per cent to $426 million, a record for this segment, while wines in the $20-$50 segment increased 13 per cent to $88 million.
The average value of bottled exports also increased 4 per cent to $5 a litre. In contrast, the average value of bulk exports continued to fall, down 4 per cent.
Australia’s top five export countries by value were:
- US – down 4 per cent to A$428 million
- UK – down 2 per cent to A$370 million
- China – up 47 per cent to A$313 million
- Canada – up 4 per cent to A$189 million
- Hong Kong – up 24 per cent to A$118 million
Key export markets at a glance:
Asia, now the number one region for Australian wine exports by value, grew 31 per cent to a record $644 million. China again saw the strongest growth rising 47 per cent in value to a record $313 million driven by demand for wines in the higher price points with exports to China above $10 now worth $116 million to the Australian wine sector.
Japan continued to see an increase in bulk wine exports, up 388 per cent as exporters benefit from the removal of tariffs under the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA). Since JAEPA came in to force, value is also up 14 per cent to $35 million.
South Korea is a growing market for Australian wine, reinforced by the high attendance levels at a recent Wine Australia tasting held in partnership with Austrade. Exports to the market increased 16 per cent in both value and volume to $9.8 million and 1.5 million litres respectively.
Growth was strongest in the under $2.50 segment (up 127 per cent to $600,000) but the $7.50 to $9.99 segment and the above $10 segment also grew 23 per cent and 33 per cent respectively.
Exports to Hong Kong hit a record in June and continued to rise in the 12 months to September up 24 per cent to $118 million.
UK and Europe
The UK remains Australia’s biggest export market by volume up 2 per cent to 250 million litres, however value declined 2 per cent to $370 million. The drop in value can be attributed to the 5 per cent decline in the value of bulk wine exports to $215 million. There was a small rise at the higher end with the value of bottled exports up 3 per cent to $156 million.
Exports to Germany increased in value 10 per cent to $51 million while exports to Finland, where Wine Australia recently hosted trade and consumer tastings as part of the annual Nordic Roadshow increased 12 per cent to $15 million.
Success for the Australian wine category in the US can differ from state to state and although exports declined 4 per cent to $428 million, in encouraging news the latest quarter has shown a reversal of decline with exports increasing 12 per cent to $117 million. Florida and New York recorded double digit growth.
Australian exports to Canada grew 4 per cent in both value and volume to $189 million and 63 million litres respectively.
The wine market in Canada is divided along provincial lines with two dominant markets – Ontario and Quebec. Ontario and Quebec make up 65 per cent of the market at 30 and 35 per cent respectively. This is followed by British Columbia at 16 per cent and Alberta at 10 per cent.
Quebec has been a bright spot for Australian exports, growing 5 per cent in value to $39 million and 9 per cent in volume to 19 million litres.
There were similar results in Ontario with value also up 5 per cent to $73 million and volume up 9 per cent to 21 million litres.