Viticulture

Wine export booming

By Country News

Wine exports to China have topped $1billion for the first time, with exports jumping 51 per cent on the same time last year.

Overall wine exports have also hit their highest levels in a decade, increasing by 16 per cent to bring in $2.65billion in the past 12 months according to Wine Australia’s latest export report.

Wine exports to China have grown since tariffs were decreased in January 2018 as a result of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

The tariff will be removed completely by January, providing Australian wine exporters with a competitive advantage against key producers such as France, Italy and Spain.

‘‘Mainland China has now overtaken the USA to become Australia’s second-largest export market by volume,’’ Wine Australia chief executive officer Andreas Clark said.

‘‘Every country in Australia’s top 10 bulk wine destinations recorded an increase in average value, especially Germany, the largest importer of wine in the world, where average values for bulk wine increased by 20 per cent from 87¢ to $1.05 per litre.’’

Mr Clark said as value growth outpaced volume growth, the average value per litre of all Australian wine exported increased by five per cent to $3.14 per litre.

Assistant Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Anne Ruston said the export numbers were a win for the wine industry and a win for jobs in regional Australia.

‘‘Regional Australia continues to benefit from higher exports — we’re not going to get rich selling to ourselves,’’ Ms Ruston said.

‘‘These record wine export numbers also have benefits far beyond the cellar door, with important flow-on effects for the towns and cities around our wine regions.’’