By Andrew Starke

Australian wine exports slumped by 10 per cent in value over the past financial year, according to figures released by the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC).

However the total volume of wine exports increased by six per cent on the back of significant growth in bulk wine exports.

The strong Australian dollar, smaller harvest and more conservative spending habits of consumers in Europe and the US all contributed to sales of $2.427 billion, down $257 million on the previous year.

The United Kingdom is still Australia’s top wine export destination in terms of volume although the United States has taken top spot on value of sales.

Generally, the year was highlighted by an increase in bulk sales to the US, which largely offset the sharp decline in sales of bottled wine to the UK. Together the two markets account for 61 per cent of the Australian export market by value and 67 per cent by volume.

Strong value declines in the UK (19 per cent) were the biggest driver in the overall value decline but slight growth was recorded in Germany and Japan.

China was the fastest-growing export market, with the value of exports surging 51 per cent to $94m, lifting China three places to become our fourth-largest customer in value terms.

Hong Kong was the second-fastest growing market, up 27 per cent.

The Shout Team

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

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