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News posted on Thursday, 23 June 2016

Online selling into China proving a success for some WA agribusinesses
Western Australian agribusinesses are exploring e-commerce as a method of selling their products into China. While it can be a slow and challenging process, e-commerce is showing signs of success for some sectors. The first order of an Australia Post pilot program to send wine direct to consumers in China will be shipped next month Six months ago, the program between Australia Post and five Western Australian wineries was launched to sell wine on the popular Chinese-owned website 1688.com.

Virtual vintners have legs in China, toppling traditional importers
Wu Zhendong sees himself as something of a wine buff. The 25-year-old lawyer from China's western city of Chengdu is a member of his local wine club, likes to drink Chateauneuf-du-Pape - and now, like many of his peers, buys most of his wine online. Wu reflects a major shift in China's $14.2 billion wine market, where increasingly price-savvy shoppers are driving a boom in online trade, upending the fast-growing market that has long been dominated by large-scale importers.

Wine equalisation tax rebate concern on rise as survey finds growing pessimism among vignerons
A national survey of small and medium winemakers has found widespread pessimism about proposed changes to the wine equalisation tax. The 2016 Federal Budget revealed plans to lower the WET rebate from $500,000 to $290,000, with businesses without a financial stake in processing facilities no longer eligible. The results found more than one third of the 600-odd producers who took part in the survey would be worse off under the changes, while 40 per cent would not be eligible for the rebate.

Vital vote for Murray Valley wine grape growers
A poll in the Murray-Darling and Swan Hill wine regions later this year will have a say in shaping the future of the local winegrape sector. The current four-year term of the Murray Valley Wine Grape Industry Development Committee (IDC) ends in December, meaning that all wine grape growers in the two regions will be required to vote on it continuing. The IDC operates under Victorian legislation, which by agreement with the NSW government also extends across the border.

Australian producers whine over tax rebates for Kiwis
Australian winemakers are fuming that their New Zealand counterparts receive $18 million in tax rebates funded by Australian taxpayers. As part of the Closer Economic Relations trade deal between the two countries, New Zealand winemakers are entitled to rebates from a system originally set up in 2004 to boost regional employment in Australia. The Australian Financial Review has reported that winemakers were expecting that following an overhaul of the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET), the rebates would end for New Zealand producers, who have up until now been claiming $25m a year.

Chequebook wine reviews leave a bad taste
Over the past couple of weeks, the issue of chequebook wine reviewing has had another round of airplay. It's a tangled web that has raised a number of questions. For example, are all the shiny "Recommended by" stickers you see on wine bottles in our stores created equal? And are all wine writers who are hosted by a winery, or groups of wineries, compromising their integrity?

South African wine industry could add 100,000 jobs by 2025
Cape Town - South Africa’s wine industry could add a further 100 000 jobs by 2025, mostly in the Western Cape, following the signing this month of the Economic Partnerships Agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) and the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) countries. So said Michael Mokhoro, stakeholder relationship manager for South Africa’s wine and brandy industries.

Blight threatens to devastate Spain's sherry grape harvest
A warm and wet spring has caused havoc in the vineyards of Andalusia where vintners report that fungus is threatening this year’s sherry production. Winegrowers fear that as much as 80 percent of their crop could be destroyed thanks to mildew fungus caused by warm temperatures and unusually high rainfall during spring. Wine producing cooperatives across the Jerez region, which lent its name to the fortified wine, have reported devastating effects on their crop.

Has Pinot Noir peaked?
Anyone who plays the stock market—or even just observes it from the sidelines—knows that timing is everything. Even Apple Inc., the world's most valuable company, is no longer the stock-market darling it once was, never mind its still-massive earnings. Why the bloom-off-the-rose gloom? It's all about the future, a "what will you do for me tomorrow?"

Portugal’s port wine industry apprehensive about economic impact of Brexit
Portugal and the UK have a centuries-long history of trade relations, with one of the strongest ties arguably being the export of Port wine. The island nation is Portugal’s sixth biggest market for the product, with over a million bottles exported between January and April 2016 alone. So what impact would a UK exit from the EU have on Port producers? Vote Leave campaigners claim withdrawing from the EU would free up trade opportunities, while the Vote Remain camp has warned of negative consequences.

Morris Wines to be closed and sold by owners Pernod Ricard
Iconic, multi-generational, Rutherglen winery, Morris Wines will be closed and sold. Owners, Pernod Ricard Winemakers have announced that the vineyard will be closed and sold whilst the company will keep ownership of the brands. Pernod Ricard Australia is the local arm of a global beverage giant, which owns Australian labels like the Barossa Valley's Jacobs Creek, and Coonawarra's Wyndam Estate.


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