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Australia's premium wines drive exports to bounce back

Published:  21 January, 2015

Australian wine exports have grown 1.9% by value and volume to 700 million litres and $1.82 billion in 2014, with premium wines leading the charge. 

Australian wine exports have grown 1.9% by value and volume to 700 million litres and $1.82 billion in 2014, with premium wines leading the charge. 

AustraliaAustralian wine exports have bounced back

This represents the first time exports have risen in value since the start of the global recession in 2007. Average value has held steady at $2.60 per litre.

That's according to latest Wine Export Approval Report December 2014, released by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority today.

In the last 12 months, 1,329 importers took shipments of Australian wine to 121 countries - two thirds of whom managed to grow volumes, unlike the preceding year. put volume increases down to the depreciating Australian dollar but said 2013's huge Spanish harvest forced bulk wine prices down - they declined by 2% to $0.99 per litre. But bulk volumes grew 8% to 402 million litres.

Bottled wine exports grew 7% by value to their highest level in a decade, driven mainly by demand for wines over $7.50 per litre in North America, Europe, and much of Asia and a decline in bottled exports under $5 per litre with more wine shipped in bulk containers to be bottled in-market.

AGWA's acting chief executive Andreas Clark said: "It's encouraging to see the value of Australian wine exports in positive growth for the first time since 2007 and increasing demand for our premium wines was a major contributing factor to that growth.

"We've seen rises in wine exports in all premium price segments: the $7.50-$9.99 price segment increased by 5% to 15 million litres and by 15% in the $10 and above segment to 17 million litres.

"The ultra-premium above $50 segment grew 55%, hitting a record $107 million. While the segment only accounts for 0.8% of the total volume, it contributes 8% of the total value of bottled exports."

UK and Europe markets

  • The UK remains Australia's biggest export market by volume dominated by bulk wine exports that are destined for Europe. Total volume increased by 4.5% to 249 million litres.
  • In 2014, Australian wine exports to Europe increased by 4% to 361 million litres valued at $581 million. This increase was driven by bulk wine exports, up 8% to 294 million litres, while bottled wine exports declined by 11% to 67 million litres. Despite this decline, the average value of bottled wine exports increased by 6% to $4.25 per litre.

United States

  • Two consecutive record domestic harvests reduced demand for imported wine in the US, with Australian imports falling 9% to 164 million litres worth $423 million.
  • Bulk wine exports fell 9% to 54 million litres and bottled wine exports under A$2.50 per litre declined by 79% to 3.1 million litres.
  • Above $10 per litre increased by 3% to 1.6 million litres while exports in the $7.50-$10 segment also increased by 3% to 2.6 million litres.


  • said the "austerity measures introduced by the Chinese Government in late 2012 have had the biggest impact on the Chinese imported wine market over the last two years". But 2014 saw total Australian wine exports grow by 8% to 40 million litres valued at A$224 million. In volume terms, bottled exports have almost recovered to the levels recorded before the full effects of the austerity measures took hold.
  • The $2.50-$5 segment was the key driver of the turnaround increasing 15% to 20 million litres.
  • More than 90% of Australia's ultra-premium wine exports (above $50 per litre) were exported to Asia.

The Australia Day Tasting takes place in London's Hall on January 27, 2015. It will showcase more than 1,000 wines and offer a fresh take on food and wine pairings, say event organisers.