The latest data from Wine Australia shows that total exports for the 12 months grew by 16 per cent to $2.65 billion, which is the highest value in 10 years.
Wine Australia said wine exports to China had grown as wine tariffs had dropped again in January 2018, in line with the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
The tariff will be removed completely in January 2019, giving Australian wine producers an advantage over French, Italian and Spanish suppliers.
“Pleasingly there was very strong growth (in China) at all price points as imported wine becomes more approachable and is increasingly consumed by middle-class drinkers and seen as suitable for consumption at informal gatherings and while relaxing at home,” Wine Australia chief executive Andreas Clark said in a statement.
Clark said the growth in the value of Australian exports had outpaced volume growth, with the average value per litre of wine exported increasing by 5 per cent to $3.14 per litre.
He said the increase in demand for bulk Australian wine was driven by its quality plus historically low Northern Hemisphere harvests.
“Every country in Australia’s top 10 bulk wine destinations recorded an increase in average value, especially Germany, the largest importer of wine in the world, where average values for bulk wine increased by 20 per cent from $0.87 to $1.05 per litre,” he said in a statement.
On the boom in exports to China, he said that country had now overtaken the USA to become Australia’s second largest export market by volume.
While the “commercial end of the USA market” was declining, there had been growth in the premium sectors.
– with AAP
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