Australia has seen a small rise in its wine exports in the year ended September 2014, highlighted by a 6 percent growth in average value of bottled wine.
The Wine Export Approval Report September 2014, released by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) this week, showed total Australian wine exports increased by 0.7 per cent to 688 million litres.
And total value was steady at A$1.78 billion.
The average value of bottled wine exports also grew by 6 per cent to A$4.83 per litre, continuing six years of consistent growth and reflecting a slow but increasing demand for wines in the premium category.
In contrast, bulk wine exports fell in value by 1 per cent to A$1.00 per litre.
Bottled wine exports declined by 7 per cent to 283 million litres which was offset by an increase in bulk wine exports by 7 per cent to 399 million litres.
AGWA’s Acting Chief Executive Andreas Clark said the premium price segments continued to be the strongest performers.
“Growing interest by consumers in premium wines was a contributing factor in wine exports in the A$7.50-$9.99 price segment increasing by 8 per cent to 15 million litres and by 6 per cent in the A$10.00 and above segment to 16.7 million litres, Mr Clark said.
“Total Australian wine exports increasing in volume were helped in part by the stronger performance of the white wine category which offset declines in red wine.
“White wine exports rose by 5 per cent to 290 million litres while Pinot Gris continued to demonstrate its popularity with drinkers increasing by 32 per cent to 38 million litres while Chardonnay remained flat at 166 million litres.
“Red wine exports fell by 3 per cent to 383 million litres with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot all recording falls.”
Key figures by export market:
UK and Europe
The UK remains Australia’s biggest export market by volume dominated by bulk wine exports that are destined for Europe. Total volume increased slightly by 1 per cent to 245 million litres.
Just 15 per cent of wine exported to the UK is bottled, falling from 19 per cent on the previous year although the average price for bottled wine rose significantly by 13 per cent to A$4.19 per litre.
The record domestic grape crush, greater consumer demand for premium wine and a weaker Australian dollar have all been contributing factors in the latest export figures for North America.
While total exports declined by 8 per cent to 164 million litres, bulk wine exports and bottled wine exports both increased in value up 4 per cent to A.96c per litre and up 6 per cent to A$3.49 per litre respectively.
The strongest performing price segment was A$7.50-$9.99, increasing by 19 per cent to 2.8 million litres followed by the A$10 and above segment which recorded growth of 14 per cent to 1.7 million litres.
Exports under A$2.49 per litre dropped substantially, down 85 per cent to 2.4 million litres. This is likely to be due in part to the weakening Australian dollar. The A$2.50-$4.99 segment increased by 5 per cent to 96 million litres.
Canadian export figures have experienced growth of 20 per cent to 60 million litres as a result of a significant increase in bulk wine exports. Bulk wine exports increased by 53 per cent to 29 million litres with an average value of A.82c per litre.
Bottled wine exports remained flat at 30 million litres but the average value increased marginally by 1 per cent to A$5.13 per litre.
Bottled exports below A$5.00 per litre to Canada declined by 11 per cent to 18 million litres.
Chinese export figures continued to decline albeit at a slower rate with total wine exports down 5 per cent to 37 million litres.
Bottled wine exports fell 4 per cent to 34 million litres and bulk wine exports fell 12 per cent to 3.2 million litres.
The austerity measures continue to impact the premium wine segment with the average value of bottled wine exports to China down 8 per cent to A$6.13 per litre.
Other Asian markets had strong results including Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and in particular Hong Kong which returned a record A$94 million in Australian wine exports.