Australia and New Zealand
Problems with over-supply of grapes in Australia continue with news that the Federal Government is to conduct an investigation into the Australian wine industry, prompted by the low grape prices being offered to growers by wineries this year.
Growers in South Australia’s Riverland are being urged to drop their grapes on the ground rather than sell them for low prices, which would only add to the wine surplus. The Riverland Wine Grape Growers Association has warned that at prices of less than AU$200 per tonne, growers will not even be able to cover harvest and freight costs.
A wine glut looks less likely in New Zealand as wine exports have hit a record 44 million litres. In the 12 months to the end of February, up 55% on the previous year, Sauvignon Blanc remains New Zealand’s strongest selling varietal, with 31m litres exported during that period.
Pinot Noir exports rose an impressive 57% to 2.2m litres, while Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other blends were up 43% to 1.4m litres. Britain was New Zealand’s biggest wine export market in 2004, taking 17.06m litres, the US was next with 9.37m, and Australia in third place with 8.33m.
These top 3 markets take 84% of New Zealand wine exports.