US sales cork surging wine trade

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 6th August 2018

AUSTRALIAN wine export values and volumes significantly improved overall last financial year but sales over the period to our second-best market, the US, are in relatively sharp decline.

Overall, the value year-on-year of wine exports to June 2018 was up 20 per cent to $2.76 billion, and export volumes were up 10 per cent to 852 million litres—a new record.

The improvement marks highest rate of growth in the value of wine exports in 15 years, Wine Australia figures show.

Trade with our best customer, China, continues expanding dramatically with the value of wine exports up 55 per cent to $1.12 billion and volume up 47 per cent for the year to June 2018.

But at the same time the value of US sales fell 8 per cent to $424 million and volume dropped 11 per cent to 160 million litres.

The UK bought the most wine by volume, 245 million litres, compared to next best China with 185 million litres, but the UK is our third best customer by value, up 12 per cent on the year to $384 million.


Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark said the US is the world’s largest wine market and the opportunity there is to capture more of the premium end of the market as American consumers trade up to higher priced wines.

“Australia has been very strong in the commercial half of the US market (54 per cent of the US off-trade volume is wines under US$8 per bottle), but this market is shrinking, Mr Clark said.

“As American consumers transition from commercial wines to more premium wines, Australia has to be there to capture the opportunity.

“The premium end of the USA wine market is enjoying robust growth, as are Australian exports in nearly all price points above $10 per litre (albeit off small bases) and we’re working to accelerate this growth in demand through a marketing push supported by the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package.”

Last week Wine Australia hosted the inaugural Australia Decanted in California, a four-day wine education program immersing 100 key influencers from the US in Australia’s wine scene to raise awareness of the breadth of Australia’s fine wine offering and the perception of the Australian wine category in the USA.

Australia Decanted will become Wine Australia’s signature annual event in the US and will be followed there by Aussie Wine Week in September this year and Aussie Wine Month in September 2019.

Wine Australia Export Report highlights for the 12 months ending 30 June 2018

·        The highest export value growth rate in 15 years: the value of Australian wine exports grew by 20 per cent to $2.76 billion.

·        Record export volume: volume grew by 10 per cent to a record 852 million litres, or 95 million 9 litre case equivalents.

·        Highest average value since 2009: the average value of exported wine increased by 9 per cent to $3.24 per litre.

·        Record average value of bottled wine: the value increased by 19 per cent to $2.2 billion, the volume increased by 8 per cent to 376 million litres (around 42 million 9 litre case equivalents) and the average value of bottled exports reached a record $5.94 per litre.

·        Record value and volume of exports in bulk containers: value increased by 22 per cent to $504 million, volume increased by 11 per cent to 467 million litres (or about 52 million 9 litre cases) and the average value of bulk exports increased by 10 per cent to $1.08 per litre.

·        The increase in average value of bottled exports was shared by 69 of the 127 destinations for Australian wine, with demand for premium Australian wine in Northeast Asia being the biggest contributor to value and volume growth.

·        The growth in exports was driven by a 15 per cent increase in active exporters compared to the previous 12 months, with 2298 exporters shipping 23,761 unique products. Of these exporters, 1616 either started exporting or grew the value of their exports, contributing $653 million to the growth in overall export value.

Also in Australian Food News

Price points

In the 12 months to June 2018, all but one of Australia’s export price segments showed growth, as detailed in Table 1 below, with exports above $10 per litre increasing by 45 per cent to $855 million, a record value.

The key price segments that drove this growth were wines priced $20–29.99 per litre FOB and $50–99.99 per litre FOB, both of which grew by over 80 per cent. Also driving growth in overall value is the $2.49 per litre FOB and under segment, reflecting the increase in demand for bulk shipments.


Nearly all regions that Australia exports wine to increased in value in the past 12 months, with Northeast Asia having the stand out performance, growing by 51 per cent to $1.2 billion.

Other regions that experienced encouraging growth included:

·        Europe, by 7 per cent to $608 million

·        Southeast Asia, by 3 per cent to $168 million

·        Oceania, by 15 per cent to $99 million, and

·        the Middle East, by 39 per cent to $30 million.

North America was the only region to decline in value, by 4 per cent to $624 million, a $12 million increase in the value of exports to Canada only partially offsetting a $39 million decrease in the exports to the USA.

The top 5 markets by value in 2017–18 were:

·        China, including Hong Kong and Macau (40 per cent of export value)

·        USA (15 per cent)

·        United Kingdom (14 per cent)

·        Canada (7 per cent), and

·        New Zealand (3 per cent).