Australian wine exports grow despite pandemic challenges

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Vineyards in Margaret River, Western Australia. Pic: getty/cretex
Vineyards in Margaret River, Western Australia. Pic: getty/cretex

Related tags: Wine, Australia, coronavirus

Australian wine exports have grown 4% in value over the last year, according to Wine Australia’s Export Report.

Exports reached a total value of $2.998bn AUD ($2.14bn USD) over the last year.

Volumes declined slightly by 0.4% to 771 million liters or 85.7 million cases (figures for the 12 months ending September 30, 2020).

In Australia, 62% of the wine produced is exported.

Top markets see value growth

The top markets in value terms are China, the US, the UK, Canada and New Zealand: with all of these markets recording value growth in 2020. Most notable growth came from the UK, with 18% growth.

Australian wine exports have been growing consistently in recent years, with 2020 representing the highest level since 2007.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said: “Despite the unprecedented disruption that we’ve seen in markets around the world, Australian wine export volume has held reasonably steady and it is particularly pleasing to see both the overall value and the average value of exports growing during these challenging times.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been clear trends for wine consumption emerging around the world. While premiumisation has continued, there has also been a resurgence in commercial wines, and this is evident in the growth that we’ve seen in different price segments, where it was particularly strong at the low and high ends.

“Different markets have had different trends. In markets such as the UK and US, growth was primarily at the commercial/value end, while in China growth for premium wines has remained strong this year.”

Top export markets

wine australia

Mainland China

Exports to mainland China increased by 4% in value to $1.17bn AUD and decreased by 12% in volume to 123 million liters.

“Higher-priced exports recorded exceptional growth, especially at $30 or more per liter,"​ notes Wine Australia. "Almost two-thirds of Australia’s exports to mainland China are priced at $10 or more per liter.”

US

Australian wine exports to the US increased 1% to $439m AUD in the 12 months ended September 2020. Volume declined by 4% to 141 million liters.

UK

Exports to the UK increased by 18% in value to $430m AUD and 10% in volume to 256 million liters.

“The value of exports to the UK is at the highest level since 2011. It is understood that some companies are shipping products to market ahead of the impending Brexit deadline of 1 January 2021 to minimise any potential disruption.”

The growth of exports is coming predominantly at below $5 per litre, which is primarily shipped as unpackaged wine (85% of Australia’s exports to the UK are shipped as unpackaged wine before being bottled in-market.)

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