The latest Wine Australia Export Report from Wine Australia shows mixed results across key markets during the 12-month period to March 2024, with a relatively small decline in value and volume suggesting a stable period for Australian wine exports.

Total export value declined one per cent to $1.88bn, with volume dropping by two per cent to 611 million litres. Peter Bailey, Market Insights Manager, Wine Australia, explained that growth in some Asian and European markets has been offset by a decline in exports to North America and other Asian countries.

“The largest drivers of value growth in the past 12 months were Hong Kong, New Zealand, and the UK, while exports to Canada, the US, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia, and Malaysia declined,” he said.

This is an overall positive sign for the Australian export market, which has been experiencing a steady decline over recent years.

“While we expect volatility to continue at an individual market level, data from recent quarters suggest that overall declines have stabilised, and a more positive sales trajectory is ahead,” Bailey said.

Asia continues to be a promising market for Australian wine, especially Northeast Asia, which grew by 29 per cent in value to $412m.

“Asia was the largest region by value for Australian wine exports, with a 36 per cent value share. Strong growth in Northeast Asia, driven by Hong Kong, was tempered by a decline in the value of exports to Southeast Asia, driven by Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia, during the period.

“The vast majority of the growth in Northeast Asia’s value was driven by exports to Hong Kong, which increased by 60 per cent to $290m, mainly in red wine above $10 per litre FOB. Hong Kong is a major trading hub and therefore some of the wine may be on-shipped to other Asian markets. Exports to Japan also grew during the period, up four per cent in value to $48m, mainly driven by exports valued between $2.50 and $4.99 per litre, but also above $10 per litre FOB,” Bailey said.

Export value to Mainland China also increased in the period, albeit from a low base, growing 21 per cent to $13m. As the period covered by the report is March 2023 to March 2024, the recent removal of import duties on Australian wine has had little impact on the data in the report.

Australian wine export performance has been positive in the UK over the period, which is the top export market both in value and in volume.

“The increasing value and volume of exports to the UK was likely being driven by an increase in customers opting to drink wine at home rather than in bars and restaurants, to save money during the cost-of-living crisis. Australia has a 24 per cent share of all off-premise wine sales in the UK and is the number one country of origin in the category, so it benefits when consumers move towards this channel away from the on-premise,” Bailey said.

Unpackaged wine drove the decline in exports to the US.

“During 2022 and the early part of 2023, unpackaged wine exports to the US surged as shipping conditions improved and Australian producers were able to ship large inventories into market. This trend has now eased, and total exports have declined as a result. Meanwhile, in Canada, the decline is driven by a continued decline in packaged exports, while the growth in unpackaged exports has also eased,” Bailey said.

The top five markets by value were:

  • UK: up two per cent to $367m, 20 per cent share of total export value
  • US: down seven per cent to $356m, 19 per cent share of total export value
  • Hong Kong: up 60 per cent to $290m, 15 per cent share of total export value
  • Canada: down 15 per cent to $147 million, eight per cent share of total export value
  • Singapore: down 11 per cent to $119 million, six per cent share of total export value

The top five markets by volume were:

  • UK: up 10 per cent to 228 million litres, 37 per cent share of total export volume
  • US: down 13 per cent to 127 million litres, 21 per cent share of total export volume
  • Canada: up two per cent to 74 million litres, 12 per cent share of total export volume
  • New Zealand: up six per cent to 30 million litres, five per cent share of total export volume
  • Germany: down five per cent to 26 million litres, four per cent share of total export volume

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