Australian wine makers shipped 700 million litres of wine last year, new data from the country’s Grape and Wine Authority shows.
Total wine exports were up 1.9% in 2014. The value of the wine also jumped 19% to $1.82 billion. It’s the first time the value of wine exports has increased since the GFC in 2007.
Helped by the falling Aussie dollar, 67% of the 1,329 exporting producers recorded record volume growth in the 12 months to December.
While the average value of exports remained steady at $2.60 per litre, the average value of bottled wine for export increased 7% to $4.85 a litre – the highest it’s been in a decade.
AGWA’s acting CEO Andreas Clark said the premium price segments saw the strongest growth throughout the year.
“It’s encouraging to see the value of Australian wine exports in positive growth for the first time since 2007 and increasing demand for our premium wines was a major contributing factor to that growth,” he said.
“We’ve seen rises in wine exports in all premium price segments: the A$7.50-$9.99 price segment increased by 5% to 15 million litres and by 15% in the A$10.00 and above segment to 17 million litres.
“The ultra-premium above A$50 segment grew 55 per cent, hitting a record A$107 million. While the segment only accounts for 0.8 per cent of the total volume, it contributes 8 per cent of the total value of bottled exports.”
Wine exports in the above $10 range were at $356 million, just below the record high of $371 million set in September 2007.
The UK and Europe are Australia’s biggest export markets by volume, with 610 million litres exported in 2014.
Strong local harvests in the US for the last two years has reduced demand for imported wine in that market. Total Australian wine exports to the US fell 9% to 164 million litres valued at $423 million.
“The decline in exports was mostly seen in the lower price segments, a reflection of the large US harvests,” AGWA said.
Exports to Canada increased a staggering 48% to 31 million litres last year, largely helped along by the country’s small domestic wine sector.
The Chinese don’t appear to like Australian wine as much as they love our iron ore. Just 40 million litres were shipped to the Asian powerhouse last year.
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