Australian exports bounce back

Friday, 20. October 2017 - 12:45

The Australian wine industry is bouncing back, if a new export report is anything to go by. In the year ending 30 September 2017, wine export value grew 13% to A$2.44bn ($1.91bn), while volume grew 9% to 799m L.

“Established and new-to-market exporters are sharing in this strong export growth,” said Andreas Clark, CEO of Wine Australia in a statement. “Pleasingly, there was growth across almost all price points.”

Australian premium sales are also growing in the domestic retail market. According to IRI MarketEdge Liquor, the value of Australian wine sales in the domestic retail market at A$10.00 or more per bottle increased by 7% compared to a 0.3% decline at below A$10.00 per bottle in the year ending 3 September 2017.

Red wine continues to dominate exports, contributing 74% of export value. Exports of white wine also grew, but at a slower pace of 2%.

As for which regions were taking Aussie wine, the strongest growth was driven by exports to northeast Asia – which grew a whopping 36% or A$248m – while exports to the more difficult markets of Europe and North America grew by 1% each.

From the late 1980s through to the early years of this century, Australia’s wine industry became an export juggernaut, shipping millions of cases of reliable, well-made wines globally and making brands such as Penfolds, Yellow Tail and Hardys into household names. By 2005, however, the American love affair with Australia began to wane, causing a crisis in the Australian industry.

In recent years, innovative winemakers in regions such as the Yarra Valley, the Mornington Peninsula and Tasmania, among many others, have worked to position themselves as terroir-driven producers, rather than winemaker/production-led producers. The efforts appear to be paying off, with notable wine critics hailing the ‘new wave’ of Australian wines. As Jancis Robinson MW said in the Financial Times, “A new generation of producers is turning its back on conventional archetypes and making wines quite different from the old icons.”