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New Zealand exports achieve record levels

Published:  23 July, 2008

New Zealand wine exports hit a record high in 2006, increasing 30% by value compared with the previous year.

Overall wine export earnings reached NZ$611 million (214m) compared with NZ$471m (146m) in 2005. The figures published by New Zealand Winegrowers also highlighted that wine exports earned only NZ$300m (105m) two-and-a-half years ago.

There was continued growth in New Zealand's three main markets of the US, the UK and Australia, which account for 83% of exports by value. US exports were up 25%, the UK by 22% and Australia by 47%.

Warren Adamson, UK and Europe director of New Zealand Winegrowers, said: There has also been very encouraging increases in our secondary markets: Canada is up 60% over the previous year, Denmark is up 51% and Ireland up 41% in value. For the first time, exports to these secondary markets topped NZ$ 100m for the year, up 30% in value.'

Sauvignon Blanc continues to be the most popular variety, accounting for 75% of export volume, but Pinot Noir has established itself as New Zealand's second-most exported variety with 41% growth.

Adamson said: Almost 40% of our Pinot Noir exports go to the United States, a market we expect to be our largest overall export destination by value in 2008.'

Pinot Gris, which doubled its production from 1,655 tonnes in 2005 to 3,675 tonnes in 2006, saw export volumes increase by 67% with Merlot up by 27%.

The overall volume of wine exports increased by 13%, and the average value earned per litre of wine was up by 15%, although the average bottle price in the UK has gone down to 5.93 (week ending 31 December 2006) from 6.24 at the end of 2005.

Adamson added: Our ambitious growth and marketing strategies are clearly paying off, and the wine industry is on-track to achieve export earnings in excess of NZ$1 billion by 2010.'