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International demand for New Zealand shows no sign of slowing

Published:  27 August, 2019

International demand for New Zealand wine is showing no sign of slowing, with total export up 6% to a record $1.83bn, on volumes up 5% to 270 million litres, for the year ended June 2019, according to the 2019 Annual Report of New Zealand Winegrowers.

This, said the industry body, translates at a retail level to over $7bn dollars of New Zealand wine sold around the world annually, with value boosted by a 1% increase in the average price per litre to $6.74 and packaged wine up 2% to $8.55.

The UK and USA led the growth, with the latter continuing to be New Zealand’s largest market with over $557m in exports, and the UK hitting $446.6m.

The premium reputation of New Zealand wine has "translated to real value" in its major markets where the country remains either the highest or second highest priced wine category in the USA, UK, Canada, and China, according to the report.

“This year’s export results again reflect the New Zealand wine industry’s strengths, and reinforce our international reputation for premium, diverse and sustainable wines,” said John Clarke, chair of New Zealand Winegrowers.

The report also highlights the completion of the 2018 PwC Strategic Review, the first within the industry since 2011.

“The Strategic Review report noted the continued steady growth of the industry, and identified a range of challenges and risks that need to be addressed to maintain that trajectory and ensure all members have the opportunity to benefit,” said Clarke, noting the review underscored how important all aspects of sustainability were in order to maintain the New Zealand wine industry’s social license to operate.

“As an industry we need to ensure our key focus is on enhancing sustainability initiatives. Sustainability is a cornerstone of the reputation of New Zealand wine, and is vital to the ongoing success of our industry.”

Highlights over the last year include the completion of the first phase of the Bragato Research Institute’s climate change programme, the commencement of a new research winery facility, and the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration.

In the year, New Zealand’s producing vineyard area grew by 600 hectares - or 2% - to 38,680 hectares, with

each of Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough recording growth of over 2%. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris recorded the largest vineyard area growth.

Based on plantings yet to come into production, New Zealand Winegrowers estimate total growth in productive vineyard area to continue at around 1% for at least the next two years.