Wine growers toast boom in exports

Wine growers toast boom in exports   article image

After a tough decade for the Australian wine industry, wine exports are booming.

The Australian Grape and Wine Authority reported that export volumes increased 3.6 per cent in volume to 711 litres in the year to March, while export values increased 3.9 per cent to $1.85 billion.

Exports were buoyed by a weaker Australian dollar, improving economic conditions in Australia's two largest export markets, the UK and the US, as well as in the biggest boom market, China.

Recent free trade agreements have also started bearing fruit, with exports to Japan hitting new highs, up 20 per cent to a record 11 million litres over the past 12 months.

“Asia continues to be a key driver of growth with more than half of exports in the above $AU7.50 per litre segment shipped to Asian markets (up 13%) with the average value of exports to Asia $AU18.77 per litre, said AGWA’s chief executive Andreas Clark.

“The biggest Asian market is still China but Japan has also seen strong growth as has emerging Asian markets such as Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines.”

Most price points saw an increase in volume with the only exception being the $AU5.00-$7.49 per litre range, where volumes fell 4% to 37 million litres.

In the last 12 months, the number of Australian wine products exported hit 17,387, up 6.6% — a record high for the $5.6 billion industry.

Strong growth in premium wine

“Some of the strongest growth is seen in the premium price segments and we’ll be continuing to champion Australia’s finest wines in our global marketing activities, said Mr Clark. “While the above $7.50 price segment accounts for just 5 per cent of total export volume, the value share is considerably higher at 27 per cent.”

Mr Clark said Wine Australia continues to receive a positive response to its presence at key international wine events including ProWein and Vancouver International Wine Festival where Australia was the host country.

Over the past 12 months, Australian wine was exported to 123 destinations by 1,385 exporters, with the majority (890 exporters) again recording volume growth.

The number of Australian wine products exported hit a record high of 17,387, up 6.6 per cent.

Key points

  • The UK remains Australia’s biggest export market by volume increasing by 2 per cent to 251 million litres and valued at $371 million litres.
  • Europe accounts for more than half of Australian wine exports and the latest figures show an increase of 3 per cent to 369 million litres valued at $580 million. This increase was driven mostly by increases in the UK and Germany with exports to Germany up 11 per cent to 37 million litres and valued at $48 million.
  • Total Australian wine exports to the US remained steady at 164 million litres with a drop in value of 1 per cent to $421 million.
  • Australian wine exports to Canada increased by 11 per cent to a record 61 million litres valued at $186 million.
  • Exports to China continued to recover following recent austerity measures – up 20 per cent to 44 million litres and valued at $242 million.
  • China remains the number one destination for premium Australian wines.
  • Exports to Japan grew by 20 per cent to a record 11 million litres in a strong indication that exporters are indeed enjoying the benefits of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA).
  • Other Asian markets experiencing growth include Thailand (up 47 per cent to a record 3.6 million litres valued at $14 million), Malaysia (record volume and value growth up 10 per cent to 3.2 million litres and up 25 per cent to $38 million respectively), Taiwan (up 33 per cent to 1.7 million litres while value grew 66 per cent to $15 million) and the Philippines (up 22 per cent to 1.2 million litres and growing in value by 19 per cent to $5.6 million).

Trading conditions over the next five years are expected to continue to improve for Australian wine producers.

IBISWorld predicts industry revenue will increase by 1.8% to reach $6.1 billion in the next five years.


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