Wine Industry Statistics - Wine Exports

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Australian Wine Exports

Wine Exports

Australian wine exports grew at the strongest rate in more than a decade in 2015 thanks partly to the easing of the exchange rate and subsequent boost to global competitiveness. Exports by value increased by 7.8% while volumes increased by 4.9%, according to the Wine Export Approval Report September 2015, released by Wine Australia (see table). While export activity lifted strongly, the average value of Australian wine exports per litre increased by only 3% from A$2.60 to A$2.67. This is consistent with commentary from many local companies that overseas markets remain fiercely competitive and the Australian dollar depreciation has not been a windfall for local producers as they try to build overseas sales.

Australia exported wine to 123 countries, with the value of wine exports rising in 78 countries in the year to September 2015. With the recent addition of Hong Kong, Australia now has five markets valued at more than A$100 million - a first for Australian wine exports. The US remains Australia's most valuable market, with exports of A$427 million (see table). In the 12 months to September, value declined by 4%, but the most recent quarter produced promising growth - particularly in the upper price segments. The UK was the largest market by volume and second by value, with exports worth A$370 million (down 2%). China was again ranked third at A$313 million (up 47%), followed by Canada valued at A$189 million (up 4%) and Hong Kong valued at A$118 million (up 24%).

Although growth was sustained throughout the entire year, the strongest growth was recorded in the final quarter. In the three months to September, value increased by 15% as a result of both faster volume growth (up 5%) and average value growth (up 9%).

All of the key price segments recorded growth, with strongest growth in the premium price segments that are a long-term strategic priority for Wine Australia. Wines above A$10 per litre increased 28% to A$426 million, a record for exports in this segment. The A$7.50 to A$9.99 segment recorded growth of 7% to A$138 million. Ultra-premium segments also continued to rise: the A$20 to A$50 segment increased 13% to A$88 million, while wines above A$50 increased 54% to A$133 million. The biggest gains were in exports to Asia, with growth also recorded in the UK, Canada, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Denmark and France.

In price segments commonly associated with larger volume brands, the A$5.00 to A$7.49 segment increased 6% to A$235 million, while the A$2.50 to A$4.99 segment increased 3% to A$732 million. Wine exported in the under A$2.50 segment, which is usually shipped in bulk and packaged in-market, also increased, up 2% to A$432 million.

In June, Asia (including China) became the number one region for Australian wine exports by value. Spurred by a series of successful free trade agreements and increasing disposable incomes, exports increased by 31% in the 12 months to September to A$644 million.

Europe recorded slightly stronger exports, up 1% to A$587 million, whereas North America declined by 2% to A$618 million. The rest of the world also recorded growth during the year, up 2% to A$113 million.

Shiraz remained the most favoured exported variety, with value increasing 8% to A$410 million. Cabernet Sauvignon recorded even stronger results, increasing in value 23% to A$236 million. The average value per litre of Cabernet Sauvignon rose 9% to A$5.64. The real shining light was Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blends, which increased in average value per litre by 41% to A$16.87, overtaking Shiraz/Mourvedre to command the highest value per litre. China is the primary driver behind this trend.

Chardonnay remains the most popular white variety, despite a 3% decline in value to A$167 million due to declining exports to the US. Sauvignon Blanc exports increased 7% in value to A$31 million. The UK and US were largely responsible for the growth, importing 62% of all Australian Sauvignon Blanc (and blends).

Export figures by wine type and container type (see table) highlight the emergence of bottled reds as a rapidly expanding sweetspot for Australian producers. Exports of bottled red surged ahead by 9.2% in terms of volume, overtaking bulk reds and bulk whites to become the largest export category. The value of bottled red exports grew at an even faster pace, up 14.6%, with the assistance of solid price increases. The average value per litre of bottled reds increased by almost 5% to A$5.55, in contrast to declining average values per litre in every other category.

The Wine Industry Directory's own data, collected from its long-running annual survey of Australian wine producers, shows that Accolade Wines overtook both Casella Wines and Treasury Wine Estates to become the largest exporter by volume (see table). Accolades' export volumes were boosted significantly by the acquisition of Grant Burge Wines. Lower down the order, a number of winemakers enjoyed an improved ranking by virtue of the exit of Grant Burge Wines and Peter Lehmann Wines from the rankings. However, a number of winemakers also lifted in their own right, including Yalumba Wine Company, Nugan Estate, Wingara Wine Group, Brown Brothers and Zilzie Wines.

In terms of exports by value (see table), Treasury Wine Estates remained on top of the list. Andrew Peace Wines, De Bortoli Wines and Berton Vineyards each improved their ranking by two places, while Brown Brothers jumped from 17th to 12th position following a strong increase in exports by value.

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WID 2016