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Industry body warns a third of OZ wineries could go under

Published:  20 April, 2020

A key Australian industry body is said to have predicted a third of Australian wineries could go under as a result of Covid-19. 

The grim prediction was, according to reports in Australia, made by Australian Grape and Wine - Australia’s national association of wine grape and wine producers, which represents the interests of the more than 2,600 winemakers and 5,000 winegrape growers working in Australia.

"We've got 2,600 wineries at the moment and 30% of that we could lose. That's anything up to 700 or 800 businesses, it's that serious. I'm very worried,” said Tony Battaglene, chief executive of Australian Grape and Wine, according to Australia’s ABC News. 

While winemaking in Australia continues as an essential agricultural industry, Covid-19 restrictions have put a halt to cellar door trade.

Last week, the Australian government revealed a new $500 million government loan package for exporters, giving Australian exporters impacted by the pandemic access to “business-saving loans” between $250,000 and $50 million under a new $500 million capital facility.

In the same week, Wine Australia warned that the full impact of Covid-19 on exports was still to come as it released new data showing exports to the UK declined by 10% in value to $347m and by 9% in volume to 219 million litres in the year to 31 March 2020.    

On a global scale, the value of Australian wine exports increased by 3% over the previous 12 months to $2.87bn driven by a record average value for bottled exports of $7.12 per litre free on board (FOB).

Wine Australia declined to comment on the above prediction.