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Australian wine exports to the UK drop 7%

Published:  11 June, 2020

The value of Australian wine exports to the UK declined 7% to AU$356m in the 12 months ended April 2020, according to new data released by Wine Australia.

However, despite the 12-month drop, the April figure is still AU$8m more than was reported for the 12 months ended March 2020 (rounded to AU$347), with the period January to April 2020 reversing the downward trend and delivering 3% value growth in exports to the UK over the same period in 2019. 

This upswing also helped partially offset a decline to mainland China, which had been Austalia fastest growing export market, according to Wine Australia. 

Wine Australia said that while the UK is in lockdown and the on-trade has closed, sales in the off-trade were “strong”, adding there was unlikely to be any “fundamental shift in the UK market because sales are already more heavily weighted to the commercial/value end”.

The total value of wine sales in the UK off-trade increased 3% while Australian wine sales declined 1% in the 12 months ended March 2020 (IRI). However, since mid-March, IRI reports that the growth in wine sales has been “very strong” in most of those past seven weeks. 

The total value of Australian wine exported increased 3% to AU$2.87bn in the 12 months ended April 2020, reflecting strong growth at the top end and a decline at the low end, according to Wine Australia.

Exports above AU$10 per litre increased by 18% to $1.07bn, while exports below $2.50 per litre declined by 11% to $466bn. Exports between AU$2.50 and AU$9.99 per litre, also declined, 3% to AU$1.33bn.

Overall volume declined 10% to 728 million litres, with the average value rising 14% to AU$3.94 per litre.

Wine Australia said that while value is higher than it was 12 months ago, it has declined over the past few months. 

It attributed the decline to two factors - the lockdown measures that have been implemented around the world in response to Covid-19 as well as the lower Australian wine production over the past two years, which it said had reduced volumes available to export.

The latest report from Wine Australia, which normally released a report on wine exports at the end of each quarter, follows the generic body’s decision to keep the sector informed in "these unprecedented times” by providing a special update on the reported results to the end of April.