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Australian wine exports plummet

The value of Australian wine exports has dramatically fallen by over a quarter in just one month, according to a new report issued by the country’s Bureau of Statistics.

A$155.3 million worth of Australian wine was exported in November last year compared with A$213.2 million in October. Furthermore, exports by quantity dropped by 22%.

Annual figures also highlight the declining value of Australian wine exports. Export volumes increased 17.7% from November 2002 to November 2003, but the value of the exports had risen by just 5%.

A key reason for the decreasing value is the strength of the Australian dollar. The U.S. dollar is down 26% against the Australian dollar. Australian producers and exporters are now faced with the difficult choice of either raising prices or cutting profit margins. As well as the decline in export, the average value of a litre of Australian wine dropped from A$0.82 per litre from November 2002 to 2003.

Australia’s domestic wine sales remained stable for the October period and showed a slight rise in November, compared to the previous year’s figures.

Wine has been one of Australia’s fastest growing exports in the past decade and the U.K., the U.S., New Zealand, Germany, Canada, Ireland and Sweden are all major markets. Whether these new figures are just a temporary glitch or the beginning of a reversal of the trend remains to be seen.

Written by Carolyn Hammond

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