(Australian Associated Press)
A thirst for premium Australian wine has driven growth in the value of wine exports at the fastest rate in 15 years, new figures show.
Overseas sales jumped 20 per cent to $2.76 billion in 2017/18, with China, where 40 per cent of exports are bought, the biggest contributor, according to data from industry body Wine Australia.
The sector also recorded its highest average value for wine since 2009, with an increase of nine per cent per cent to $3.24 per litre.
But the value of exports to the US – the world’s largest wine market – fell by eight per cent to $424 million, with the volume of Australian wine sold to America decreasing by 11 per cent.
Wine Australia chief executive Andreas Clark says the focus will now be on improving sales in the US.
‘The premium end of the US wine market is enjoying robust growth, as are Australian exports in nearly all price points above $10 per litre,” Mr Clark said.
“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.”
Wine Australia says the overall growth of overseas sales was due to a 15 per cent increase in active exporters over the year.
Export sales of wines priced between $20 and $29.99, as well as those priced between $50 and $99.99, both grew by 80 per cent.
Australian wine exports increased in value in nearly all regions over the last year:
– Northeast Asia 51 per cent increase to $1.2 billion
– Europe seven per cent rise to $608 million
– Southeast Asia, three per cent to $168 million
– Oceania, up by 15 per cent to $99 million
– The Middle East up by 39 per cent to $30 million
– North America down four per cent to $624 million