Wine Australia’s Export Report shows that bottled exports grew by 15% to AUS$1.7 billion and the average value of bottled exports increased by 9% to $5.35 per litre, the highest since October 2003.
Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark (pictured) said: “Pleasingly, demand for Australian fine wine has continued to grow, particularly in North America and Asia.
“Our finest wines contributed to almost half of the total value growth in the last 12 months, with exports priced at $10 FOB (free, on board) and over per litre up 26% to a record $499 million.
“This increased demand for Australia’s finest wines was reflected in all of our top five export markets.
“Exports priced $10 FOB and over to the United States grew by 16%, mainland China by 71%, the United Kingdom by 15%, Canada by 12%, and Hong Kong by 5%.
"This growth contributed an additional $102m to the value of Australia’s wine exports", said Clark.
Exports by region
All export regions recorded growth in the last year, except for Europe, which declined by 1% to $574m. North east Asia continued to lead growth, with value increasing by $158m (34%) to $618 million. Next in absolute growth was North America, growing by $46m (8%) to $646m. Growth slowed to Southeast Asia, up $7m (5%) to $142m.
Sustained growth in Northeast Asia
Australian exporters continue to see benefit in export markets with free trade agreements (FTAs).
Exports to mainland China grew by 50% to $419m, despite a slowing economy, says Wine Australia. This exceptional growth was aided by the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement, and the growing Chinese middle class’s increased interest in wine.
When combined with Hong Kong ($124m), China is the largest market for Australian wine exports.
Value to mainland China increased across the price segment spectrum, says WA, with the greatest growth once again in exports valued at over $10 per litre, up 71% to $169m.
Exports to Japan increased by 4% to $45m, while exports to South Korea were up 29% to $13m.
United States growth
The United States remained Australia’s number one destination for wine by value and exports grew by 8% to $449m. The board says the trend towards Australia’s premium wines continued with exports priced $10 and above per litre FOB increasing by 16%, reflecting the improving perception of Australian wine among the US trade, with a growing number of importers taking on more premium Australian brands.
Andreas Clark said: “There is still much work to do in increasing the awareness and availability of premium Australian wine in the US. To continue sustainable growth in our most valuable market requires a long-term approach and a focus on re-establishing relationships and confidence in the category, supported by significant, consistent investment to drive the Australian fine wine message.”
Casella Family Brands’ managing director, John Casella, said: “It’s exciting to see reinvigorated interest in Australian wine in the US market, with consumers now considering Australian wine among some of the world’s best when choosing a premium wine.
“The growing preference amongst consumers and influencers is a testament to the hard work that Wine Australia has been doing in the US to promote the quality and diversity of Australian wine,” said Casella.
Australia’s top five export markets by value
• US: up 8% to $449m;
• Mainland China: up by 50% to $419m;
• The UK market continues to be Australia’s most significant market in volume terms but, because 80% of wine is shipped in bulk, it ranks third in value and exports were flat at $369m;
• Canada: up 7% to $195m;
• and Hong Kong: up 11% to $124m.