Austria sees exports rise to record levels

The value of Austrian wine exports rose to €148 million in 2016, according to the latest figures released by the Austrian Wine Marketing Board.

The Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) said the boost came on the back of growth of bottled wine sales, which command more of a premium, and this helped make up for the smaller volume harvest the country has seen over last five year.

The volume of bottled wines grew by 1.8m litres during the year, contributing an extra €5.2 million it noted, and the average price per litre on exports also rose to €3.05 per litre. Meanwhile, bottled ‘Qualitätswein-grade’ white wines saw growth of more than €6 million.

However the AWMB noted that momentum has slowed over the last five years as a result of a series of smaller than average harvests.

Key growth markets included the USA, which saw growth of nearly 12%, taking it past €12 million for the first time, along with Switzerland Norway, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia.

Within the EU, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Finland, Denmark, Slovakia, Poland and Ireland saw the most noticeable increases, the AWMB said.

Speaking at the launch of Vinexpo Explorer in January, Willi Klinger, MD of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) said he wanted to see the value of the country’s wine exports grow by more than a third within the next five years, from around €143m in 2015 to €200 by 2020.

Klinger said the country could “easily” sell 10 million litres more wine into the export market even though it was not a “big volume” producer market.

The UK, which has one of the highest price per litre, more than double that of its biggest market, Germany, is one of its key growth markets, Klinger said, as distribution of Austrian wine has grown in the UK market.

Vinexpo’s chief executive officer Guillaume Deglise said Austria, which will host the inaugural Vinexpo Explorer programme in September, was one of the “hottest rising destination” for wine.

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