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Jan 17

AUS: Australian wine exports lose more value in 2010 – figures

Tag: Ländersigi.hiss @ 13:03

By: just-drinks.com editorial team

  • Exports drop by 9% in value
  • Rise by 2% in volume
  • Renewed momentum for bottled wine in H2
  • Exports of Australian wine continued to lose value in 2010, but the stricken industry regained some momentum in the second half of the year, official figures show.

    Australia exported AUD2.1bn (US$2.1bn) of wine in the 12 months to the end of December, down by nearly 9% on 2009, trade body Wine Australia said this week. A shift to cheaper bulk wine exports to the UK, Australian wine’s largest export destination by volume, and a slide in wine sales to the US were the main reasons for the fall.

    The figures underline the pressure on Australia’s wine industry and mark the country’s third consecutive annual drop in wine exports by value, following a previous 15 years of increases.

    Wine Australia, however, said that its has seen some green shoots in the sector. The average price of bottled wine exports has increased every month since June to the end of the year, from around AUD4.04 per bottle to about AUD4.13. „This is an encouraging sign, given the Australian dollar has remained strong over this period,“ said the trade body.

    Total volume exports rose by 2% in 2010, to reach 781m litres. This was largely driven by bulk wine exports, which increased their share of total exports by 7% to 46%.

    Figures released by the organisers of the Vinexpo wine fair yesterday (12 January) show that Australia remains easily the number one wine supplier to the UK, which is, in turn, the world’s biggest wine importing nation by volume.

    Australian wine exports to the UK rose by 4% in volume in 2010, to 272m litres, even though bottled exports to the country sank by 28% during the year, according to Wine Australia. It added that China provided a particular bright spot over the 12 months, with exports up by 31% to 55m litres on an average value per bottle of AUD5.62.

    Signs of improvement in the Australian wine sector have not been enough to stop Constellation Brands from agreeing to sell „virtually all“ of its business in the country to Champ Private Equity for a knock-down price of AUD290m.

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