Australian wines continue export growth

24 October, 2018 by Andy Young

Wine Australia has released its Export Report for the year to 30 September 2018, and it shows that Australian wine has continued to experience strong value and volume growth.

Wine exports saw an 11 per cent increase in value to $2.71bn and a five per cent increase in volume to 842 million litres, or 94 million 9-litre case equivalents.

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The report also detailed that shipments of bottled wine increased by eight per cent in value to $2.16bn and by two per cent in volume to 366 million litres. There was also strong growth for unpackaged wine, up in value by 23 per cent to $525m and in volume by nine per cent to 468 million litres.

Andreas Clark, CEO of Wine Australia, said: “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.

“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 per cent 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 per cent to $804m, 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 $50m,” Clark said.

China remains the largest market for Australian wine exports and exports grew by 24 per cent to $1.14bn in value to Northeast Asia, the standout growth area. In North America, a $16m increase in exports to Canada only partially offset a $38m decline in exports to the United States of America (USA).

Regions in growth:

  • Northeast Asia, by 24 per cent to $1.14bn
  • Europe, by 5 per cent to $604m
  • Southeast Asia, by 5 per cent to $170m
  • Oceania, by 21 per cent to $105m, and
  • the Middle East, by 41 per cent to $30m.

Clark added: “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.

“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 per cent in value in the year ended June 2018 to US$267m (Nielsen-CGA) and sales in the off-trade have increased by three per cent to $522m (IRI Worldwide).

‘In the off-trade, ground is being made at premium price points, with Australian sales up by one per cent in the US$15.00 to $19.99 per bottle segment and up 29 per cent 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 $1.813bn, and value had grown at one per cent over the previous 12 months,” he said.