France emerged as Australia's fastest-growing market in a year when the world's most successful wine region recorded the biggest increase ever in exports.

According to figures published by the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation, in 2001 sales increased by 20% compared with the year before. Australia exported 368m litres – 61m litres more than the previous year.

The United Kingdom, the United States and Canada are still the major markets for bottled still wine, accounting for 75% of red sales and 80% of white sales.

The figures also show that the French and the Germans are taking more and more Australian wine. These three countries bought Australian wine at a faster rate than Canada, the third-biggest market for Australia

The AWBC suggested France’s imports might be growing at such a rate because it was acted as a trans-shipment region for all other European destinations.

The principle markets for bulk shipments (ie wine in containers other than bottles) were the UK, New Zealand and the US. The UK showed the major increase in bulk shipments, taking an additional 5.4m litres of bulk red to reach 13 million. The US has also emerged as a major growth area for bulk wines.

Written by Adam Lechmere8 January 2002