Australia exports $1bn of wine to China

18 April, 2018 by Andy Young

Wine Australia has revealed that Australian wine exports are setting records are the world as the popularity of this country’s juice continues to rise.

Exports to China, including Hong Kong and Macau, increased by 51 per cent for the year to March 2018, to reach $1.04bn, which is the first time exports to a single country have passed the $1bn mark.

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The Wine Australia Export Report for the 12 months to March 2018 also revealed a new high for the average value of bottled wine exports of $5.74 per litre.  Further records include a 16 per cent increase in the export value to reach $2.65bn – the highest value in a decade. Export volumes also increased, up by 10 per cent to a near-record level of 844 million litres, or 94 million nine-litre case equivalents.

According to Wine Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Andreas Clark, the high quality of Australian wine plus historically low Northern Hemisphere harvests were driving the demand for Australian wine exported in bulk containers, leading to growth in both volume, which grew by 10 per cent to 462 million litres, and the total value of exported bulk wine, which grew by 19 per cent to $486m.

“Every country in Australia’s top 10 bulk wine destinations recorded an increase in average value, especially Germany, the largest importer of wine in the world, where average values for bulk wine increased by 20 per cent from $0.87 to $1.05 per litre,” Clark said.

Mr Clark also said that wine exports to China had grown as wine tariffs had dropped again in January 2018, in line with the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement.

The tariff would be removed completely in January 2019, providing Australian wine exporters with a competitive advantage over key producers such as France, Italy and Spain.

“Mainland China has now overtaken the US to become Australia’s second largest export market by volume. Pleasingly there was very strong growth at all price points as imported wine becomes more approachable and is increasingly consumed by middle-class drinkers and seen as suitable for consumption at informal gatherings and while relaxing at home,” he said.

Clark also said excellent vintage conditions in Australia would sustain the sector’s growth as the relatively cool, dry summer had produced high-quality grapes and winemakers are excited about the exceptional quality of the 2018 vintage wines.

“Wine Australia is already reaching out to producers to remind them that now is the time to set their vineyards up for an outstanding 2019 vintage,” Clark added.