Saturday 17 November 2018

Australian wine exports climb 11 percent to $2.71 billion

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Australian wine exports continue to experience strong growth in both value and volume, with an increase of 11 percent in value to $2.71 billion and five percent in volume to 842 million litres (or 94 million 9-litre case equivalents) for the year ended 30 September 2018.

Not such good news is that the value of exports to the United States dropped eight percent to $423 million, and volume fell 11 percent to 17.9 million 9-litre cases.

Shipments of bottled wine increased by eight percent in value to $2.16 billion and two percent in volume to 366 million litres (41 million 9-litre case equivalents). Shipments of unpackaged wine also grew strongly, with a 23 percent increase in value to $525 million and a nine percent increase in volume to 468 million litres.

There were also increases in the average value of wine exported, with a seven percent increase for bottled wine to $5.90 per litre, a 13 percent increase of unpackaged wine to $1.12 per litre and a five percent increase of all wine exported to $3.21 per litre.

“Today’s export figures show that there has been strong and sustainable growth over the past 12 months, delivering the third year of double-digit growth on a year ended September basis’, Andreas Clark, CEO of Wine Australia, said.

“These figures are the result of a lot of hard work by Australia’s 2401 wine exporters, the people who spend time in market to build their brands, distribution networks and awareness of all that Australian wine has to offer consumers.

“Australia exports more than 60 percent of the wine we produce, so it’s important that we continue to build our export markets. Wine Australia is currently delivering Growing Wine Export workshops in regional Australia to help new and experienced exporters to grow their exports.

“In the 12 months to 30 September, there was healthy growth across the price spectrum. Exports above $10 per litre increased by 20 percent to $804 million, with the $20 to $29.99 segment in particular, showing considerable growth. Below $10 per litre, the $5 to $7.49 segment was the star, growing by $50 million.”

Exports grew to all but one of the major destination regions. The standout growth of 24 percent was experienced in Northeast Asia, where exports grew to $1.14 billion in value, while in North America, a $16 million increase in exports to Canada only partially offset a $38 million decline in exports to the United States of America (USA).

Regions in growth
• Northeast Asia, by 24 percent to $1.14 billion
• Europe, by 5 percent to $604 million
• Southeast Asia, by 5 percent to $170 million
• Oceania, by 21 percent to $105 million, and
• The Middle East, by 41 percent to $30 million.

Growing the China and the USA markets is the key focus of the Australian Government’s Export and Regional Wine Support Package ($50m Package).

“We are seeing strong growth in China and we have redoubled our efforts in the USA to capture more of the premium end of the market as American consumers trade up to higher priced wines,” Mr Clark said.

“There is positive sentiment about Australian wine in the USA among key influencers and consumers. While consolidation at the distribution level of the three-tier system is proving to be a difficult barrier to overcome, the hard work of Australian exporters willing to get in to market is starting to pay off.

“Australian wine sales in the on-trade have increased by four percent in value in the year ended June 2018 to US$267 million (Nielsen-CGA) and sales in the off-trade have increased by three percent to $522 million (IRI Worldwide).

“In the off-trade, ground is being made at premium price points, with Australian sales up by one percent in the US$15.00 to $19.99 per bottle segment and up 29 percent in the US$20.00 to $24.99 per bottle segment.

“There is also solid growth in sales of Australian Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. These positive trends, as well as a favourable exchange rate, are laying the foundations for Australian wine to find success again in the world’s largest wine market.

“Looking at the value and growth of exports over the past five years shows where we’ve come from. Just five years ago, Australian exports were worth $1.813 billion, and value had grown at one percent over the previous 12 months.”

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Main photo: Chapel Hill winemakers Rachel Steer, Michael Fragos and Bryn Richards. Courtesy of Simon Cassen.

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