The average value of Australian wine exports has increased, despite volume decreasing by 6% over the past 12 months.
The average value of exported wine increased by 1% to AUD $2.59 per litre due mainly to a 6% increase in the average price per bottle to $4.68 per litre, according to the Wine Export Approval Report released this week by Wine Australia.
Total Australian wine exports declined by 6% to 677 million litres in the same period with a value of $1.75m, but increases observed since the beginning of 2014 indicate this could be changing.
This trend applied to the UK specifically with Wine Australia pointing out that it coincides with an overall drop in UK wine consumption.
However according to wine Australia chief executive, Andreas Clark, the drop in volume is not necessarily negative.
“While the decline in the volume of Australian wine exports to many of our major markets is a concern, it is positive to see that the average value of Australian wine exports has increased in many of our key markets,” he said.
He praised the efforts of the Australian wine industry to strengthen interest in the higher end of the market adding: “There are some positive developments that show the industry’s combined efforts to create greater awareness of the quality, diversity and regionality of Australian wine were starting to produce some tangible results.”
Clark also pointed out that sales were positive for more exporters than they were negative.
“While overall volumes declined, there were more exporters who recorded a volume increase compared to those that recorded a decline,” he said.
Exports to China dropped 12% overall but Clark attributed this to recent measures put in place by the Chinese government.
“The austerity measures on Government bodies have continued to impact on the mechanics of the imported wine sector,” he noted.
Clark suggested a strategy for the Chinese market encouraging Australian wine companies to work with their importers and distributors on long term, brand building strategies in China.
Australia is second only to France overall in the Chinese wine market and maintains the highest average bottle price there out of the top 10 importing countries, a position Clark hopes his approach will help maintain.
“This will help ensure that Australian wine maintains the highest average value per litre of the eight largest imported wine countries now and into the future,” he said.
Exports to the US declined but the average bottle price increased by 15% in line with the overall trend.