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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
7 May 2008
 

Latest figures for Australian wine exports, for the year ended April 2008, make gloomy reading for an industry predicated on the need to export.

They declined in volume by 8.5% to 730 million litres with falls in both of the two most important export markets the UK and US, and also declined in value by 4% to A$2.81 billion.

Although the total volume of bottled wine exported increased slightly (by 3%, or 17 million litres), bulk shipments  declined by 33% (78 million litres) and those in ‘soft-packs’ (including bag in box) by 41% (7 million litres).  In the preceding year to the end of April 2007, all three categories grew.

The average price per litre of wine exported increased by 4% to A$3.85 per litre, but this was purely because bulk wine represented a much smaller proportion of the total.  The average price of bottled wine actually fell, by 5% to A$4.62 per litre, particularly in the UK, while the average price per litre grew notably in China.

Key trends identified by the Australian Wine & Brandy Corporation:

  • Volume declines, average price up
  • Bottled volumes grow, downturn in bulk and soft pack shipments
  • UK volume declines marginally, average price falls
  • US volume declines, average price grows
  • Value per litre in China grows 150%

China was a strong contributor to value growth, according  to AWBC.  Value increased A$10 million on the back of a 150% increase in the average price to A$4.62 per litre.  The main contributor to the price rise was an increase in the share of bottled wine shipments, from a quarter to just over three-quarters.  This was due to a 16 million litre decline in bulk shipments and a 3 million litre increase in bottled shipments.