Australian wine turns focus to China

The Australian wine industry wants to exploit the Chinese market after its imports to the US were valued less than that of New Zealand.

According to Dutch finance company Rabobank, the value of New Zealand wine imports by the US reached almost $400 million due to an increased will to spend more on premium wines following the financial crisis.

But despite falling short to New Zealand in the US premium wine market, Australia’s exports to China increased by 40% in 2016.

Chief executive of the Winemakers Federation of Australia, Tony Battaglene, said: "We were only around $75 million or so in 2007 and we are up to over $500 million now, and our exports grew around 40 per cent last year.

"It is our major one destination in terms of value, it has been an extraordinary growth there.

"So yes, we are focusing a lot on China." 

Rabobank senior analyst Marc Soccio added: "I think the US has become less critical as a consequence of the growth of the Chinese market, which is a good thing for the Australian industry.”