Australian wine producers voice concerns over tense trade relations

Image: Richard Dolan.
By Samuel Squire

Australian wine producers are coming forward to say their piece about China’s anti-dumping investigation and its potential impacts on Australian wine exports.

In recent weeks, China has targeted the Australian wine industry, with Chinese authorities alleging that Australian wine exporters were deliberately low-balling their prices to gain a larger market share in China.

The Federal Government has ‘categorically rejected’ China’s wine dumping allegations, with Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud saying there is no grounds to the claims.

“While we respect the right of any nation to defend their domestic producers from unfair and uncompetitive trade practices, we reject any claim that Australian wine product has been “dumped” into China.”

One South Australian wine producer and successful exporter, Bec Hardy Wines – which produces the Pertaringa brand – has said that Chinese demand for wines from the state should continue, although it’s likely that the ongoing trade tensions between the two countries will remain as “white noise”.

Bec Hardy Wines joint managing director Richard Dolan says China’s recent move may help Australian producers to refocus more on their local markets, while they wait to see the outcome of the Chinese probe.

“In the immediate short-term, there is, of course, some white noise but again, if the business-to-business, people-to-people relationships are strong, then we’ll come through it stronger together,” Dolan said.

“There will always be a demand for high-quality, competitively priced, premium wines from South Australia from well-regarded brands with a strong set of unique selling points.

“Every market is hard and has its own unique challenges. It wouldn’t be as fun if it was easy! My wife and co-MD Bec Hardy and I have just taken over the Pertaringa brand from her parents, and for us, we’re busy putting our own stamp on it, investing in marketing, brand and cellar door experiences,” he continued.

“In our business for now we’ll continue ‘business as usual’. We won’t be making any knee jerk reactions and will wait and see how things pan out.

“However, we won’t be resting on our laurels, and will continue to work hard to ensure we deliver even greater value and support to our distributors and be ‘up and about’ in-market with them once we can travel again.”

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