Exports of Australian wine have slipped back in the past year due to weaker consumer demand in the country's biggest markets.
Orders for Australian wine fell in both the UK and US during 2013, while government austerity measures in China led to the first drop in bottled wine exports to the country since 2000.
Globally, Australia exported 678m litres of wine in 2013, 6% less than in 2012, according to figures released this week by Wine Australia. By value, exports dropped to A$1.76bn, versus $1.85bn in the previous year.
The latest figures serve as a reality check for those who have heralded Australia’s resurgence on the world wine scene in the past year, although there were bright spots in the data.
‘The decline in bottled Australian wine exports across higher price segments in many of our major markets is a concern and shows the industry has a long way to go to improve returns for winemakers and grape growers and achieve long term profitability,’ said Wine Australia’s acting chief executive, Andreas Clark.
However, in value terms, Wine Australia said there was a 3% rise in the average price per litre of bottled wine exported in 2013. It also highlighted stronger demand from the US for exports of bottled wine above A$7.5-a-litre.
Written by Chris Mercer