As the world’s palate for fine wines evolves, Australia’s local export market is reaping the benefits. This year Australia’s wine export value is experiencing its strongest growth in eight years.
This follows Treasury wine’s $750 million acquisition of Diageo Wine’s US and UK operation, announced this week.
Treasury’s deal, and new strategy of concentrating on fewer but more prestigious labels, is part of a huge global change in drinking habits — a turnaround from the recent decrease in demand for commercial wines.
In the 12 months to September 30, the value of Australian wine exports rose 8% to $1.96 billion, the strongest rate of growth since export values peaked in October 2007, according to the export report for September 2015 released today by Wine Australia.
Encouraging a sought-after improvement in profitability for Australian wine, the rate of value growth is currently outpacing volume, which increased 5% to 734 million litres.
“These export results are unambiguously good news for our grape and wine community, said Wine Australia’s CEO Andreas Clark.
“Clearly it’s still early days and the improvement we’ve seen in exports in the last 12 months hasn’t yet flowed through to the grape growing community at large but there are pockets of growers who reported improved prices in vintage 2015 and we hope to see this trend continue next vintage,” Clark said.
According to Wine Australia, the growth trend was evident across many of the premium price segments, with exports of Australia’s highest-priced wines (above $50/litre) rising 54% to a record $133 million.
While the high price range segment accounts for only 0.2% of total exports, it’s worth 7% of the total value.
Asia is the number one region for Australian wine exports by value, growing 31% to a record $644 million. China drove the growth, rising 47% in value to a record $313 million, on the back of increased demand for higher priced wines.
In the year to September 2015, the Australian dollar depreciated 17% against the Chinese renminbi, making Australian wine cheaper for Chinese consumers and likely contributing to the substantial level of growth.
Here are Australia’s top five export countries by value:
- US – down 4% to $428 million
- UK– down 2% to $370 million
- China– up 47% to $313 million
- Canada– up 4% to $189 million
- Hong Kong – up 24% to $118 million
Here’s a nifty infographic from Wine Australia, summarising the export report for September.
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