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Premium Australian wine exports hit record levels

Premium Australian wine exports hit record levels article image

Growing demand for Australian premium wines has helped boost the total value of wine exports to its highest level in more than seven years, according to a new report.

The Wine Export Approval Report released by Wine Australia last week showed the value of Australian wine exports rose 5 per cent to $1.89 billion in the 12 months to June 30, this year.

This is the first time the value of wine exports has increased on a financial year basis since 2006-07.

Wine Australia’s Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said growth in value was driven by the strength of Australian exports in the Asian market.

“The value of wine exports to Northeast Asia was up 29 per cent and Southeast Asia was up 18 per cent, Mr Clark said.

“We ship more than half of our exports above $7.50/litre to Asia and the average value of those exports is $18.49/litre compared to $12.29/litre in Europe and $11.54/litre in North America.

“This is the third consecutive financial year we’ve seen value growth in the above $7.50/litre price point, now worth $529 million. It accounts for 28 per cent of total value share but only 5 per cent of volume.”

In the last 12 months, the average value of exports above A$7.50/litre went up 8 per cent to a record A$15.40/litre.

On-going opportunities

Exports of Australia’s highest-priced wines (above A$50/litre), which account for only 0.2 per cent of total exports, grew for the fifth consecutive year, up 62 per cent to a record A$123 million.

Mr Clark said the figures reflect the on-going opportunities for Australian wine in the premium price points.

Wine Australia would assist winemakers, regions and exporters to capitalise on these opportunities through its recently released five-year Strategic Plan.

“Our two strategic priorities are increasing the demand and price paid for Australian wine, and increasing our competitiveness, Mr Clark said.

“We’ll be expanding our program of activities in the critical US market including the introduction of a formal Market Entry Program and we’ll continue to develop the export markets in Europe, China and Asia Pacific through activities that focus on Australia’s finest wines.”

The average value of total exports also increased by 0.3 per cent to A$2.61 per litre (driven by a 4 per cent increase in the average value of bottled exports to $4.91/litre) while volume increased by 4 per cent to 724 million litres, the highest level since 2010-11.

Increase in bulk exports

In contrast, the average value of bulk exports continued to fall, down 7 per cent to $0.95/litre. This was driven by a 25 per cent increase in bulk exports below $1/litre and a decline of 21 per cent in bulk exports above $1/litre.

Over the last 12 months, Australian wine was exported to 122 destinations by 1,405 exporters with the majority (904 exporters) recording volume growth.

This is a turnaround from the previous year when the majority of exporters recorded declines.

The number of Australian wine products exported hit a record high of 17,731, up 8.4 per cent.

Australia’s top five export countries by value were:

  • US – down 7.9 per cent to $415 million
  • UK – down 1.5 per cent to $369 million
  • China – up 32.1 per cent to $280 million
  • Canada – down 0.7 per cent to $182 million
  • Hong Kong – up 28.4 per cent to $112 million

Australian wine exports at a glance

Asia

  • Exports to Asia grew 26 per cent to a record $600 million
  • Exports to China rose 32 per cent in value to a record $280 million
  • Exports to Hong Kong hit a record for value in 2014-15, up 28 per cent to $112 million.
  • Exports to Japan were up 10 per cent in value to $44 million.
  • Malaysia (up 26 per cent to a record $42 million)
  • Thailand (up 16 per cent to $16 million)
  • South Korea (up 28 per cent to $10 million)
  • Philippines (up 19 per cent to a record $6.1 million)
  • Taiwan up 47 per cent to $15 million in 2014-15.

UK and Europe

  • Europe accounts for a third of Australian wine exports by value and more than half by volume.
  • While exports to the region are on the rise (up 5 per cent to 374 million litres), value declined 1 per cent to $584 million.
  • UK remains Australia’s biggest export market by volume remaining steady at 251 million litres, however value declined 2 per cent to A$369 million.
  • Exports to Germany increased in value by 6 per cent to $50 million and in volume by 15 per cent to 39 million litres.

United States

  • Total Australian wine exports fell 8 per cent in value to $415 million as a result of declines in bottled exports across all price points. Bulk wine exports however grew 4 per cent to $53 million.
  • Exports to Canada declined 1 per cent in value to $182 million, while volumes increased by 1 per cent to 60 million litres. 

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