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Australian wine exports: growth and declines in delicate balance

Despite declines in Australian wine exports to North America and Southeast Asia, growth in Europe and Hong Kong has resulted in a “relatively stable period” for the country’s export performance, Wine Australia has said.

Australian wine exports: growth and declines in delicate balance

Australian wine exports declined by 1% in value to $1.88 billion and 2% in volume to 611 million litres in the 12 months to March 2024, according to Wine Australia’s Export Report released today.

The organisation described the period as “relatively stable” for Australian wine’s overall export performance in recent times, as declines in some parts of the world were evened out by growth in other regions.

Over the past 12 months, growth of Australian wine exports to Hong Kong and Europe have been offset by declines in North America and Southeast Asia.

Peter Bailey, Wine Australia manager, market insights, said: “The largest drivers of value growth in the past 12 months were Hong Kong, New Zealand, and the UK, while exports to Canada, the US, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia, and Malaysia declined.”


“Asia was the largest region by value for Australian wine exports, with a 36% value share. Strong growth in Northeast Asia – driven by Hong Kong – was tempered by a decline in the value of exports to Southeast Asia – driven by Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia – during the period,” Bailey said.

Australian wine exports to Northeast Asia increased by 29% in value to $412 million. Exports to Hong Kong increased by 60% to AU$290m, mainly in red wine above AU$10 per litre free on board (FOB).

Not all wines exported to Hong Kong are sold directly into the market. Bailey said: “Hong Kong is a major trading hub and therefore some of the wine may be on-shipped to other Asian markets.”

Exports to Japan also grew during the period – up 4% in value to AU$48m – mainly driven by exports valued between AU$2.50 and AU$4.99 per litre, but also above AU$10 per litre FOB.

Mainland China also reported uplifted wine exports during the 12-month period, growing 21% to AU$13m. However, this was off a low base due to the tariffs on Australian wine which have been implemented over the last few years. China’s Ministry of Commerce announced the removal of the import duties imposed on Australian wine in late March, but Wine Australia noted that the lifting of tariffs has had little impact on the annual data in this report.


Australian wine has performed positively in the UK over the last 12 months.

Bailey puts this down to “an increase in customers opting to drink wine at home rather than in bars and restaurants, to save money during the cost-of-living crisis”. Australia has a 24% share of all off-trade wine sales in the UK, and is the top country of origin in the category, “so it benefits when consumers move towards this channel away from the on-premise,” Bailey said.

North America

The decline in exports to the US was entirely driven by bulk shipments (what Wine Australia refers to as unpackaged wine).

“During 2022 and the early part of 2023, unpackaged wine exports to the US surged as shipping conditions improved and Australian producers were able to ship large inventories into market,” Bailey said. “This trend has now eased, and total exports have declined as a result. Meanwhile, in Canada, the decline is driven by a continued decline in packaged exports, while the growth in unpackaged exports has also eased.”

Wine Australia is taking the declines in exports in its stride, and predicts a stable path in the near future. Bailey said: “While we expect volatility to continue at an individual market level, data from recent quarters suggest that overall declines have stabilised, and a more positive sales trajectory is ahead.”

Wine Australia is likely reassured by the lifting or tariffs in China, previously its largest export market. Read more about the state-of-play between the two countries here.

The top five markets by value:

UK (up 2% to $367m. 20% share of total export value)
US (down 7% to $356m. 19% share of total export value)
Hong Kong (up 60% to $290m. 15% share of total export value)
Canada (down 15% to $147m. 8% share of total export value)
Singapore (down 11% to $119m. 6% share of total export value)

The top five markets by volume:

UK (up 10% to 228m litres. 37% share of total export volume)
US (down 13% to 127m litres. 21% share of total export volume)
Canada (up 2% to 74m litres. 12% share of total export volume)
New Zealand (up 6% to 30m litres. 5% share of total export volume)
Germany (down 5% to 26m litres. 4% share of total export volume)

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