Strong international demand for fine Australian wine

International demand for fine Australian wine grew strongly in 2018, with an increase in wine exports of 10 per cent in value to $2.82 billion free on board (FOB) and 5 per cent in volume to 850 million litres (94 million 9-litre case equivalents) in the year ended 31 December 2018.

‘These figures demonstrate strong international demand and they highlight how Australian wine exporters have worked diligently to develop and maintain international markets’, said Andreas Clark, CEO Wine Australia.

‘This demand translated into growth in almost all price segments’, he said. (See Figure 1)

Bottled wine shipments increased by 7 per cent in value to $2.24 billion and decreased in volume by 3 per cent to 361 million litres (equivalent to 40 million 9-litre cases). This saw the average value of bottled wine grow by 10 per cent to a record $6.20 per litre FOB.

Unpackaged wine also experienced outstanding growth, reaching record levels in value (up 27 per cent to $560 million) and volume (up 12 per cent to 480 million litres or 53 million 9-litre case equivalents). The average value of unpackaged wine continued to grow, increasing by 14 per cent to $1.17 per litre.

figure 1

Another record was the value of exports above $10 per litre, which grew by 22 per cent to $895 million. The value of exports above $10 per litre FOB now surpasses the value of exports in the $2.50–4.99 per litre segment, which is historically the largest segment of exports (see Figure 2).

figure 2

Red wine continues to be the most popular wine style exported from Australia, and value increased by 12 per cent to $2.14 billion in the year ended December 2018. The value of white wine exports also grew – by 10 per cent to $607 million.

There was growth in Australian exports to nearly every region of the world in 2018. Pleasingly, exports to North America are starting to level out after being in decline for more than 12 months. 

The value of exports to:

  • Northeast Asia grew by 19 per cent to $1.23 billion
  • North America declined by 0.1 per cent to $636 million
  • Europe grew by 7 per cent to $615 million
  • Southeast Asia grew by 3 per cent to $171 million
  • Oceania grew by 12 per cent to $105 million, and
  • the Middle East grew by 36 per cent to $33 million.