Viticulture

Wine value up

By Country News

The value of wine exports has jumped to its highest levels in more than a decade, with the average value per litre climbing to $3.41 in the past year.

New figures from Wine Australia reveal wine exports in the 12 months to March 2019 were valued at $2.78billion, a five per cent increase on the year prior.

Wine Australia chief executive officer Andreas Clark said the continued growth in the value of exports was an extremely positive trend for the sector.

Although the overall volume of exports declined by three per cent to 814million litres, the decline came as value increased overall.

‘‘What we are seeing is a drop in volumes in the lower value categories and this places Australia well as the global consumer premium-ises and drinks less but more expensive wines,’’ Mr Clark said.

‘‘In the China market we have grown our value again and we are outperforming competitors, with the Global Trade Atlas figures showing that in the year ended February 2019, Australia had a 29 per cent share of the imported wine market — up from 26 per cent a year ago.

‘‘We are also seeing positive trends in the US off-trade market where sales of Australian wine grew three per cent in value to US$521million in the year ended December 2018.

‘‘Even more encouraging is that Australian wine priced above US$15 per bottle has also grown by three per cent according to market monitor IRI Worldwide.’’

However, the industry is not without its challenges.

Australian wine supplies are expected to remain tight in the short term, with much of the 2018 vintage yet to hit the market and an expectation that the 2019 vintage would be below the long-term average.

The Wine Australia figures show 2603 active exporters during the 12-month period, a 16 per cent increase from the previous year.

During the year, 1786 companies either started exporting or increased the value of their exports, contributing $374million to the growth in overall value.

However, 1328 exporters saw their export value decrease or ceased shipment altogether with their exports declining by $246million.