Four of the largest markets for Australian wine exports grew in value and volume in the 2017/18 financial year.
At $2.8 billion, the value of Australian wine exports has seen the largest growth in 15 years. This is a 20 per cent growth.
But, of the five largest markets, the only one not to grow in value and volume was the US market.
Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark said the strong growth in the value and volume of Australian wine exports is very welcome, but the challenges and opportunities for the sector were very clear.
“USA is the world’s largest wine market and Australia has the opportunity to capture more of the premium end of the market as American consumers trade up to higher priced wines,” said Clark.
Australia had been strong in the commercial half of the US market, as 54 per cent of the US off-trade volume was wines under US$8 per bottle, but this market was shrinking, he said.
American consumers are transitioning from commercial wines to more premium wines.
“The premium end of the USA wine market is enjoying robust growth, as are Australian exports in nearly all price points above $10 per litre. We’re working to accelerate this growth in demand through a marketing push supported by the Australian government’s $50 million export and regional wine support package,” said Clark.
An inaugural Australia Decanted event was launched at the end of July, at Lake Tahoe, California.
“This four-day wine education program is immersing 100 key influencers, from the USA in Australia’s diverse and thriving wine scene, to raise awareness of the breadth of Australia’s fine wine offering and the perception of the Australian wine category in the USA,” said Clark.
“Australia Decanted will become Wine Australia’s signature annual event in the USA and will be followed by Aussie Wine Week, in September this year, and Aussie Wine Month in September 2019,” he said.
Despite challenges in the US market, there was an increase in the average value of bottled
exports shared by 69 of the 127 destinations for Australian wine, with demand for premium
Australian wine in Northeast Asia being the biggest contributor to value and volume growth.
The growth in exports was driven by a 15 per cent increase in active exporters compared to the previous 12 months, with 2298 exporters shipping 23,761 unique products. Of these exporters, 1616 either started exporting or grew the value of their exports, contributing $653 million to the growth in overall export value.