Wine sales continue downward trend but exports show resilience

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 7th July 2008

The ABS today released data into the Australian wine industry for the month of May indicating domestic concerns for the Australian wine industry.

As has been the case for the past few months, domestic sales exhibited a downward trend, though, on a more positive note, export sales experienced considerable growth on the April figures.

The trend estimate for white table wine sales sales fell by 1.7% from last month, with the trend falling by .7% for red and rosé wine sales. Total trend estimates for the month indicated sales of 34.1 million litres of domestic wine representing a 1.3% drop compared to April and an alarming 7.2% decline on the figures seen in May 2007.

There does, however, continue to be strong growth in the quantity of exports of Australian produced wine. The 1992-93 period witnessed Australian wine exports surpass the 100 million litres figure for the first time. Six years later wine exports exceeded 200 million litres of wine for the first time. Since then exports have really taken off with a total export volume of 786.9 million litres in 2006-07.

In basic terms, 62.6 million litres of Australian produced wine were exported in May 2008, an increase of 10.8% on April 2008 but a decline of 7.2% on May 2007. In May, 22.4 million litres of Australian produced white table wine were exported, an increase of 10.3% on last month and a fall of 7.1% on May 2007. Australian producers also exported 38.5 million litres of red and rosé table wine in May 2008, a rise of 10.0% from last month but an 8.3% decrease on May 2007.

The value of the wine exported this month was $224.1m, an increase of 14.3% in value from April 2008. The average value of Australian wine exported in May 2008 was $3.58 per litre, up from $3.47 per litre last month but below the $3.92 per litre reaped in May 2007.

Imports struggled to make inroads with a noticeable drop in quantity reported for the month. A total of 3.8 million litres was imported at a value of $29.9 million. This represented a 15.4% fall in quantity but only a 1.9% drop in value due to a rise in average price to $7.91 litre in May from $6.82 in April.