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9/10/2014

Wine industry 'crushed', according to WFA figures

The Australian wine industry’s long, dry spell continues with new figures from the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) showing 94 per cent of inland production was unprofitable in 2014.

As reported by Sunraysia Daily, the figures weren’t much better on a national scale with 84 per cent of production unprofitable, while another 6 per cent only managed to break even.

Mike Stone, Murray Valley Winegrowers executive officer said these figures came as “no surprise” but there were some long term positives including free trade agreements (FTAs) with Korea and Japan.

“The Australian Dollar is shaping up to be far kinder to growers, which will make us more competitive,” he told Sunraysia Daily.

“Although they [FTAs] won’t result in those countries buying massive quantities of Australian wine, there are good prospects in the longer term.

“Nobody should pretend the China market will favour us in the short term, but it will steadily improve, and the size of the Chinese market provides lots of potential for expanded sales of Australian wine.”

Stone attended last week’s annual WFA conference in Adelaide and said every second speaker offered the same advice – that Australian wine marketers need to “get out and sell”.

“The days of easy sales are over, and we need to return to what we were doing in the 1990s when Australian wines exploded onto the world market,” he said.

The message Stone took home from the ‘Outlook 2014 – Taking charge of our future’ conference was that the future for smaller growers appeared to lie with new varieties, but he said few growers have the financial resources to invest in replanting.

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