Wine Victoria cautiously optimistic about increase in export volume, value

Wine Victoria has welcomed new national data showing a rise in the volume and value of Australian wine exports, however remains focused on the need to improve recognition of Victoria's premium wine to help overcome the industry's oversupply issues and enable producers return to a state of profitability.

Wine Australia's Wine Export Approval Report 2015 (WEAR) last week showed that the value of Australian wine exports has increased for the first time since 2006-07, rising by 5% to A$1.89 billion.

The Winemakers' Federation of Australia (WFA), however last week released the 2015 Vintage Report2015 Vintage Report, revealing a winegrape crush marginally lower than the seven-year average, at 1.67 million tonne – meaning the industry still had an oversupply of winegrapes.

WFA Chief Executive Paul Evans says a pro-active approach is still essential to restore the lost profit margins in the wine industry.

"We must urgently seize the potential to grow demand for Australian wine and help address the on-going structural mismatch between supply and demand at profitable price points.

"Until this happens we are likely to see poor levels of average profitability continue for both grape growers and winemakers."

Wine Victoria spokesperson James Omond agreed, adding that it is positive news that exports were climbing, however we must capitalise on the recognition of our premium wine offering as a matter of urgency.

"Our focus remains on working with the Victorian government on recent commitments made to the wine industry in order to increase world wide recognition of our premium product offering.

"Thanks to our ongoing advocacy efforts, the government has recognised that Victoria offers an impressive depth of premium winemaking, as witnessed by the 150 international delegates at the Meet the Winemaker trade mission in May," Mr Omond said.

"We certainly welcome the modest gains noted in these national reports, however we will continue to partner with the government to further tap into the export opportunities associated with the FTA agreements in key Asian markets, and taking advantage of our premium advantage," he said.

Wine Australia's WEAR data shows that exports of Australia's highest-priced wines (above A$50/litre) grew for the fifth consecutive year, up 62% to a record A$123 million.

Snapshot of wine industry data from the WEAR by Wine Australia:

  • In the 12 months to 30 June 2015, the value of Australian wine exports rose 5 per cent to A$1.89 billion
  • The value of wine exports to Northeast Asia was up 29 per cent and Southeast Asia was up 18 per cent
  • In the last 12 months, the average value of exports above A$7.50/litre went up 8 per cent to a record A$15.40/litre
  • Australia's top five export countries by value were:
    • US – down 7.9 per cent to A$415 million
    • UK – down 1.5 per cent to A$369 million
    • China – up 32.1 per cent to A$280 million
    • Canada – down 0.7 per cent to A$182 million
    • Hong Kong – up 28.4 per cent to A$112 million

Snapshot of wine industry data from the 2015 Vintage Report by WFA:

  • Red crush – 835,523 tonnes
  • White crush – 834,041 tonnes
  • Top three red varieties: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
  • Top three white varieties: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon
  • Crush by state/region:
    • South Australia: 716,592 (47%)
    • Murray Darling Swan-Hill: 381,732 (25%)
    • New South Wales (excl Murray Darling-Swan Hill) 332,092 (22%)
    • Victoria (excl Murray Darling-Swan Hill) 60,258 (4%)
    • Western Australia: 30069 (2%)
    • Tasmania: 7,197
    • Queensland: 610
    • ACT: 21