Australian wine exports reach post-GFC high of $2.56 billion

Australian wine exports increased by 15 per cent to $2.56 billion in the 12 months ending December 2017, according to Wine Australia’s Export Report released today.

The 15 per cent increase in the value of exports is the highest annual growth rate since 2004 and it was also a record-breaking year for volume, with exports growing by 8 per cent to 811 million litres, a calendar year high.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer, Andreas Clark, said the positives continued with the sector achieving a 7 per cent increase in average value per litre free on board (FOB*) to $3.16, the highest level since 2009.

‘Growing demand for premium Australian wine, particularly in Northeast Asia, increased the value of bottled wine exports by 17 per cent to $2.1 billion, while the average price per litre for bottled wine grew by 3 per cent to a record $5.63’, Mr Clark said.

Wine exported in bulk also experienced price increases, with total value increasing by 10 per cent to $440 million and average value per litre increasing by 6 per cent to $1.03, the highest average value since 2012.

Mr Clark said it was notable that exports of wines priced above $10 per litre grew by 29 per cent to a record $738 million.

Destinations

Exports to Northeast Asia were the growth driver with exports increasing by 47 per cent to over $1 billion for the first time.

Australian wine has experienced outstanding growth in exports to mainland China over the last decade. The implementation of the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement in 2015 provided impetus to an already strong market. The export figures for 2017 suggest Australia is well-placed for this trend to continue. The value of exports increased by 63 per cent to $848 million and volume by 54 per cent to 153 million litres. The average price increased by 6 per cent to $5.55 per litre FOB.

There was growth in exports to mainland China across all price points, from entry level/commercial wines through to Australia’s finest wines.

Exports also grew to:

  • Europe by 1 per cent to $576 million
  • Southeast Asia by 2 per cent to $165 million, and
  • Oceania by 8 per cent to $94 million.

Exports to North America decreased slightly by 2 per cent to $636 million. However, exports of wines to the United States of America (USA) valued at $10 per litre or more (that sell for US$14 or more per bottle retail) increased by 8 per cent to $45 million.

The growth in premium wine exports to the USA is also evident in retail figures. Off-trade sales figures from sector analyst IRI showed at US$11 or more per bottle, Australian sales grew by 32 per cent while the total sales in this segment increased by 7 per cent in the year ended September 2017.