NZ wine exports up for the 23rd year running

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

New Zealand wine is destined for more than 90 countries. Pic:getty/gustavofrazo
New Zealand wine is destined for more than 90 countries. Pic:getty/gustavofrazo

Related tags New zealand Wine tourism

New Zealand’s wine industry has recorded its 23rd consecutive year of export growth, with exports now valued at $1.7bn NZD ($1.13bn USD). Meanwhile, wine tourism is playing an increasingly important role in promoting the nation's wines.

Export value rose by 2.5% in June year end 2018, according to the 2018 Annual Report from the New Zealand Winegrowers.

New Zealand’s wine industry is targeting $2bn ($1.3bn USD) in exports by 2020. Wine is currently the country’s fifth largest export good.

Slower growth predicted

Wine exports from New Zealand are now valued at $1.7bn NZD ($1.13bn USD), up 2.5% from $1.66bn last year and $1.56bn in 2016.

While growth has continued for the 23rd​ year running, it was muted over the past year due to supply constraints. A warm summer benefited New Zealand’s winegrowing regions with 419,000 tonnes of grapes harvested in Vintage 2018;​ however, many wineries had been hoping for a larger harvest to compensate for the 2017 harvest which was hit by poor weather.

John Clarke, chair of New Zealand Winegrowers, said: “In the coming year we predict export growth will continue to be muted given that the 2018 vintage was smaller than we had hoped. The final outcome will also be affected heavily by the exchange rate, which is currently looking more favorable.”

Biggest markets

New Zealand exports wine to more than 90 countries around the world. The US is New Zealand’s largest wine export market, with over $500m in exports a year. New Zealand is the third biggest wine importer (dollar value) to the US, coming behind Italy and France.

New Zealand’s second largest market for wine exports is the UK; although New Zealand Winegrowers highlights the uncertainty surrounding this market relating to Brexit.

“The UK is the second biggest export market for New Zealand wine with $386m ($256m USD) in exports, and wineries will be watching closely over the next nine months to gauge the possible effects of Brexit on international trade,”​ said Clarke.

Tourism rises

According to New Zealand Wine figures, 27% of international visitors to New Zealand visit a winery. “Touring New Zealand’s stunning wineries and vineyards has become a huge drawcard for visitors – with 279 wineries offering wine tourism experiences throughout New Zealand’s wine regions,”​ says the organisation.

Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Winegrowers have joined forces to support the wine industry, with a set of interactive, online learning tools to help the wine industry growth the value of their tourism business. Topics include leveraging digital marketing, improving service quality and harnessing the Chinese visitor market.

Related topics Markets Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cider

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