Australian wine exports grew by 1.9 per cent in both volume and value last year, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA).

The Wine Export Approval Report December 2014 says total Australian wine export volume increased by 1.9 per cent to 700 million litres and total value increased by the same rate to A$1.82 billion, the first time exports have risen in value since the global recession took hold in 2007. The average value of exports remained steady at A$2.60 per litre.

Over the last 12 months, Australian wine was exported to 121 destinations by 1,329 exporters and in contrast to 2013, the majority (893 exporters) recorded volume growth. The increase in volume was aided to some degree by the depreciating Australian dollar but a huge Spanish crush in 2013 put downward pressure on bulk wine prices which continued to decline by 2 per cent to A$0.99 per litre. Bulk wine export volumes however increased by 8 per cent to 402 million litres.

In contrast, the average value of bottled wine exports grew 7 per cent to A$4.85 per litre, the highest it’s been in a decade and driven by both demand for Australia’s premium wines (above A$7.50 per litre) in North America, Europe, and much of Asia and a decline in bottled exports under A$5 per litre with more wine shipped in bulk containers to be bottled in-market.

AGWA acting chief executive Andreas Clark said the premium price segments saw the strongest growth throughout the year.

“It’s encouraging to see the value of Australian wine exports in positive growth for the first time since 2007 and increasing demand for our premium wines was a major contributing factor to that growth.

“We’ve seen rises in wine exports in all premium price segments: the A$7.50-$9.99 price segment increased by five per cent to 15 million litres and by 15 per cent in the A$10.00 and above segment to 17 million litres.

“The ultra-premium above A$50 segment grew 55 per cent, hitting a record A$107 million. While the segment only accounts for 0.8 per cent of the total volume, it contributes eight per cent of the total value of bottled exports.”

Wine exports in the above A$10 were at A$356 million, just below the record high of A$371 million set in September 2007.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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