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23/10/2013

Australian wine exports grow at higher price points

Australian bottled wine exports continued to grow across higher price points during the year ending September 2013, while the average value of bottled exports was the highest recorded in five years according to the latest Wine Export Approval Report September 2013, released by Wine Australia yesterday.

China and Hong Kong led the growth in Australian bottled wine exports above A$10 per litre and now account for 42 per cent of these high value exports.

China is the biggest destination for exports in the above A$10 per litre segment, followed by Hong Kong.

The average value of wine exports above A$10 per litre was the highest, increasing by 4 per cent to A$19.14 per litre.

While the total volume of wine exports decreased by 3 per cent to 684 million litres (valued at A$1.78 billion), the average value increased by 0.4 per cent to A$2.61 per litre which was assisted by a 3 per cent growth in the average value of bottled wine exports to A$4.54.

The number of active Australian wine exporters increased by 14 to 1,371 with increases in the number of exporters to the US (up by 12 to 220 companies) and China (up by 33 to 931 companies).

Wine Australia’s acting chief executive Andreas Clark said growth at higher price points provided opportunities for the wine sector in a challenging environment.

“While the volume of exports has declined overall and across many of our major markets, the growth at higher and more sustainable price points is a positive trend and one we need to build on to improve returns for grapegrowers and winemakers,” Clark said.

“The drop in total export volumes was driven by a number of factors including a decline in exports at lower price points and a fall in red wine exports due to stocks of red wine declining last year.

“Bottled wine exports to the US grew 16 per cent in the above A$7.50 per litre segment, which is encouraging and supports our recent wine trade research that shows that the US is ready for the quality, regionality and diversity of our wines at higher price points."

Growth in bottled exports to China was strongest in the above A$5 per litre segment, with double digit growth in the above A$10 per litre segment, up 12 per cent.

Clark said the UK market remains challenging with a £2 per bottle wine excise, declines in wine consumption, high unemployment, falling household expenditure and a relatively strong Australian dollar all impacting on wine exports.

“The wine sector is working collectively to ensure there is far greater awareness in all our markets of the quality, diversity and regionality of Australian wine with a view to improving returns," he added.

"While the latest export results show we’re starting to move in the right direction, there’s still a long way to go.

“The industry’s focus over the next 12 months will be on continuing that momentum and growing that positive sentiment to help get more quality Australian wines on the world’s retail shelves and wine lists."

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