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Australian grapegrowers should continue to focus on raising the quality of the fruit and wine, according to preliminary findings of a Monash University study of global wine market trends.
As the local industry undergoes what is widely described as a grape glut, Monash’s Centre of Policy Studies in the Faculty of Business and Economics is forecasting better prices for Australian growers in the medium to long term.
Senior Research Fellow Dr Glyn Wittwer is leading the project called “Enhancing Wine Market Intelligence Through Economic Research”.
Dr Wittwer said he believed this vintage and that of the past two years were likely to be seen as some of the toughest the Australian industry had faced.
“Now prices are rather low. It’s hard to say how long it will take exactly, but if Australia can ride out the next vintage or two, there should be a slow recovery for the industry,” he said.
The project is examining economic data from 38 countries and nine composite regions within the global wine market, such as Australia’s two largest wine export destinations ‑ the United States and the United Kingdom.
“Australia has to concentrate on premium wine production. There are threatening signals from the United Kingdom and the United States that demand for commercial grade wine has peaked, and that demand for higher grade wines is on the rise,” Dr Wittwer said.
“The global trend has been that consumers are becoming more discerning. It’s already happened in Australia. We’re drinking less cask wine and more bottled wine than a decade ago.”
Australian wine exports are worth about $2.7 billion per year, and despite the current price slump Australia is the third largest exporter in the world.
The centre won a competitive grant from the Government authority, the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, to undertake the project.