The impact of China’s tariffs on Australian wine was released in the last financial year with overall Australian wine exports declining by 10 per cent in value to $2.56bn. However the UK is providing some silver lining with the value of exports increasing by 23 per cent to their highest level in a decade.

Overall export volumes declined by five per cent to 695 million litres, according to the latest Wine Export Report, released by Wine Australia today.

The value of exports to the UK totalled $472m, and volumes also increased, up by 16 per cent to 269 million litres, making the UK the biggest destination for exports by volume and the second by value.

Wine Australia General Manager Corporate Affairs and Regulation Rachel Triggs said the cumulative effects of three consecutive lower vintages in 2018, 2019 and 2020, meaning there was less wine available to export, as well as China’s imposition of tariffs were the key factors in the overall decline of exports.

“Exports increased to the UK, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong by a combined $240m, but they did not offset the decline in exports to mainland China,” Triggs said.

“However, excluding mainland China, exports increased by 12 per cent in value to $1.96bn and increased by six per cent in volume to 643 million litres.”

Triggs explained that the decline in the overall average value was due to a drop in the share of bottled exports; from 45 per cent of the share of volume in 2019–20 to 39 per cent in 2020–21. This again was an impact of the mainland China market as it had predominantly been a bottled wine market, and also the growth in exports to the UK which was dominated by unpackaged exports which were bottled in-market.

While there was growth in Europe and South-East Asia, the US market continued its downward spiral, with the value of exports to North America down five per cent to $586m.

The recent Free Trade Agreement with the UK and the settling of the wine dispute with Canada, will give hope to exporters for increased growth in these key markets.

The top five markets by value were:

  • Mainland China, down 45 per cent to $606 million
  • United Kingdom (UK), up 23 per cent to $472 million
  • United States (US), down 7 per cent to $400 million
  • Hong Kong, up 111 per cent to $187 million, and
  • Canada, down 1 per cent to $184 million .

The top five destinations by volume were:

  • UK, up 16 per cent to 269 million litres
  • US, down 8 per cent to 127 million litres
  • Mainland China, down 57 per cent to 52 million litres
  • Canada, down 5 per cent to 51 million litres, and
  • Germany, up 14 per cent to 36 million litres

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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