Australian wine exports went up by an incredible 30% in 2002, and the UK is confirmed as the continent's most enthusiastic market.

Statistics released yesterday by the Australian Wine Export Council (AWEC) and Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC) show exports attained record growth in both volume and value in 2002.

Total export sales were AUS$2.3bn (€1.26bn) – an increase of AUS$531m (€292m) on the previous year. Export volume rose by 96 mn litres to 471 million litres. Those figures represent increases of 30% and 26% respectively.

The UK remains Australia’s chief export market, taking almost half (46%) of all Australian wine exports. The USA came second, taking 25%, New Zealand and Canada third, Germany fifth.

Commenting on the significant rise in sales to the US (which showed an increase of almost 64%), Jonathan Scott, AWEC general manager, said the strategic alliances and joint ventures forged between the US and Australia had contributed to the success of exports.

He told, the most growth would be in Australia’s current largest three or four markets in the short to medium term.

‘Continental Europe Germany, Netherlands and Belgium show strong sales growth potential, also in the short to medium term. In Asia, we expect growth in the medium to long term.’

Written by Tracey Barker10 January 2003