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Published:  23 July, 2008

Australian wine exports have broken the A$2 billion sales barrier for the first time, following a record A$387 million increase on last year's total, according to the new set of figures released by the Australian Wine & Brandy Corporation. This represents an increase of 24% in value shipped, compared to last year's rise of 20%, although it is still some way below the record increase of 36%, posted in 1999-2000. Total volume shipped increased by 23% in 2001-2002, a record 78 million litres' increase to 417 million litres. This growth will give some confidence to Australian wine producers, who will increasingly face the challenge posed by large new red grape plantings coming on stream in the next few years. The 2001-2002 performance is particularly encouraging for Australia's producers, as red wine accounted for almost 70% of the growth in volume. Australian exports have grown from a meagre A$13 million to A$2 billion in 20 years, with the biggest increase coming in the last five years, on the back of some of the most significant vine planting the industry has ever seen. Sales to the UK have doubled from 100 million litres in year end June 1998, to 200 million litres today. However, the biggest contributor to the growth in sales was the US, which was responsible for 51% of the growth in value.