In the 12 months to 30 June 2015, the value of Australian wine exports rose 5 per cent to A$1.89 billion according to the Wine Export Approval Report June 2015 by Wine Australia. This is the first time the value of wine exports has increased on a financial year basis since 2006–07.
Wine Australia’s Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said growth in value was driven by the strength of Australian exports in the Asian market.
‘The value of wine exports to Northeast Asia was up 29 per cent and Southeast Asia was up 18 per cent. We ship more than half of our exports above A$7.50/litre to Asia and the average value of those exports is A$18.49/litre compared to A$12.29/litre in Europe and A$11.54/litre in North America.
‘This is the third consecutive financial year we’ve seen value growth in the above $7.50/litre price point, now worth A$529 million. It accounts for 28 per cent of total value share but only 5 per cent of volume.’
In the last 12 months, the average value of exports above A$7.50/litre went up 8 per cent to a record A$15.40/litre.
Exports of Australia’s highest-priced wines (above A$50/litre), which account for only 0.2 per cent of total exports, grew for the fifth consecutive year, up 62 per cent to a record A$123 million.
Mr Clark said that the figures reflected the on-going opportunities for Australian wine in the premium price points and Wine Australia would assist winemakers, regions and exporters to capitalise on these opportunities through its recently released five-year Strategic Plan.
‘Our two strategic priorities are increasing the demand and price paid for Australian wine, and increasing our competitiveness. We’ll be expanding our program of activities in the critical US market including the introduction of a formal Market Entry Program and we’ll continue to develop the export markets in Europe, China and Asia Pacific through activities that focus on Australia’s finest wines.’
The average value of total exports also increased by 0.3 per cent to A$2.61 per litre (driven by a 4 per cent increase in the average value of bottled exports to A$4.91/litre) while volume increased by 4 per cent to 724 million litres, the highest level since 2010–11.
In contrast, the average value of bulk exports continued to fall, down 7 per cent to A$0.95/litre. This was driven by a 25 per cent increase in bulk exports below A$1/litre and a decline of 21 per cent in bulk exports above A$1/litre.
Over the last 12 months, Australian wine was exported to 122 destinations by 1,405 exporters with the majority (904 exporters) recording volume growth, a turnaround from the previous year when the majority of exporters recorded declines. The number of Australian wine products exported hit a record high of 17,731, up 8.4 per cent.
Australia’s top five export countries by value were:
• US – down 7.9 per cent to A$415 million
• UK – down 1.5 per cent to A$369 million
• China – up 32.1 per cent to A$280 million
• Canada – down 0.7 per cent to A$182 million
• Hong Kong – up 28.4 per cent to A$112 million
Key figures released in the report by market are as follows:
Exports to Asia grew 26 per cent to a record A$600 million. China saw the strongest growth rising 32 per cent in value to a record A$280 million and is our number one destination for wine exports above A$7.50/litre (8 million litres, the same as the US and Canada combined).
Exports to Hong Kong hit a record for value in 2014–15, up 28 per cent to A$112 million, driven by exports above A$10/litre that accounted for almost a third of all exports to the market. With zero tax on wine in Hong Kong, it’s proven to be one of the strongest markets for premium Australian wine. The average value of exports to Hong Kong also rose 23 per cent to A$14.12 per litre.
Exports to Japan were up 10 per cent in value to A$44 million. The strongest growth was in bulk wine exports that grew five-fold in volume, which can be partly attributed to the removal of tariffs on bulk wine.
Other Asian markets experiencing growth include Malaysia (up 26 per cent to a record A$42 million), Thailand (up 16 per cent to A$16 million), South Korea (up 28 per cent to A$10 million) and the Philippines (up 19 per cent to a record A$6.1 million).
Taiwan is another growing market for Australian wine. Exports rose 47 per cent to A$15 million in 2014–15 while average value rose 20 per cent to A$8.33/litre. Wine Australia will host a Barossa Old Vine Heritage master class in Taipei on 23 July in partnership with Austrade, the first event Wine Australia has held in Taiwan.
UK and Europe
Europe accounts for a third of Australian wine exports by value and more than half by volume. The UK’s emergence as a wine packaging hub sees increasing shipments of bulk wine (which is lower priced due to lack of packaging) distributed around the UK and Europe. While exports to the region are on the rise (up 5 per cent to 374 million litres), value declined 1 per cent to A$584 million.
The UK remains Australia’s biggest export market by volume remaining steady at 251 million litres however value declined 2 per cent to A$369 million. The drop in value can be attributed to the 10 per cent decline in the average value of bulk wine exports to A$0.99/litre. There was a small rise at the higher end with the average value of bottled exports up 1 per cent to A$4.11/litre, the highest since 2006–07.
Exports to Germany increased in value by 6 per cent to A$50 million and in volume by 15 per cent to 39 million litres. This growth was offset however by a decline in average value, with the average value of bulk wine exports falling 10 per cent to A$0.84/litre and bottled exports falling 15 per cent to A$3.58/litre.
Total Australian wine exports fell 8 per cent in value to A$415 million as a result of declines in bottled exports across all price points. Bulk wine exports however grew 4 per cent to A$53 million.
Of the 50 states in the US, the five that consume the most wine also account for two thirds of Australia’s wine exports to the US – California, New York, Florida, Texas and New Jersey – valued at A$251 million.
Australian exports to Canada declined 1 per cent in value to A$182 million while volumes increased by 1 per cent to 60 million litres. With a relatively small domestic wine industry, Canada relies heavily on imported wines and Australia was a major source of bulk wine with the below A$2.50/litre segment experiencing the strongest growth, up 5 per cent in value to A$25 million.
Growth in the A$5.00–$7.49/litre segment (up 4 per cent to A$51 million) contributed to the average value of bottle exports rising 1 per cent to A$5.26/litre, the highest it’s been since 2009–10.
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First published in Leading Agriculture issue 10