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New Zealand wines in high demand despite extreme shortages

The export value of New Zealand wines shows no signs of slowing, up 9% on the previous year to NZ$599 million, despite a challenging 2021 harvest.

New Zealand wines in high demand despite extreme shortages

Demand for New Zealand wine is reflected in an increase in price per litre, with the September quarter 2021 average value up 4% from September 2020.

However, the overall harvest was down 19% on last year’s crop, with just 370,000 tonnes of grapes harvested during the 2021 vintage. This reduced supply is reflected in the decrease in volume of exports, with YTD September exports down 3% on the previous year.

“The ongoing demand for New Zealand wine has proven that the distinctive flavours, quality and sustainability of our wines increasingly resonate with consumers around the world. It is encouraging to see that during these uncertain times, consumers continue to choose a premium product they know that they can trust,” said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.

“Successfully managing the market impacts of the resulting supply constraints is a key focus for many in the New Zealand wine industry. Wineries are having to make tough decisions over who they can supply in their key markets.”

The ongoing closure on New Zealand’s borders remains a key concern, resulting in projected labour shortages and unavailability of skilled workers. In Marlborough alone, it is estimated that some 1,200 pickers will be needed to bring in the 2022 vintage.

“With ongoing uncertainty at New Zealand’s borders, our industry is working hard to attract new people to our sector, to ensure we have the personnel in place to bring in the 2022 crop, to make our premium wine, and complete winter pruning,” said Gregan.

“The recent decision to allow quarantine free travel for RSE workers is positive, and we continue to work with government to ensure that they are aware of the impact labour shortages will have on our members if they are not able to attract the workforce they need.”

Covid-19 has also greatly impacted the supply chain, bringing the ability to ship products to market into question, and greatly impacting producers and wineries.

To read more on the shortages, click here.

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