Mixed emotions amid Australia wine market outlook

Words by Harrison Davies

Wine brokerage Ciatti has released its monthly report on the global wine market, citing the market for Australian whites as “in demand” and describing demand for Australian reds as “quiet”, with the exception of small parcels of premium fruit.

The dominating feature of the Australian section of the June report was the hope of a resumption of trade with China. Ciatti referenced the resumption of the timber trade with China, worth $600 million, as a signal that Australia’s wine market could be next, however tempered expectations in stating that the China wine market had evolved since the doors closed to Australia in 2020.

“Whilst positive talks between the two countries continue, and various trade channels are reopened, imports of wine into China from around the world have seen a further decline,” the report stated.

“In the January-April 2023 period, China’s wine imports dropped 30.6% in volume to 76.19 million litres and decreased in value by 21% to USD354 million.

“Importers are citing issues with overstock and cash liquidity problems. Post China’s re-opening in January, the tourism and dining sectors have revived quickly but wine consumption has not followed the same trend.”

Australian producers have also been quiet about the size and quality of the 2023 vintage, as some industry players are not in agreement about how much of the 2023 harvest was left unpicked or affected by disease.

With the Bureau of Meteorology’s forecast of El Niño conditions in the coming years, growers are hoping that drier conditions will help to increase grape quality and value.


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