Australian wine exports rose by 10% in value in 2018, despite a fall in the overall number of bottles shipped, said trade body Wine Australia.
Australian wine exports to Northeast Asia, predominantly driven by China, rose by 19% in 2018 to A$1.23bn, Wine Australia said this week.
That helped Australian wine exports to rise by 10% globally versus 2017, to $2.82bn.
Bottled wine shipments reached $2.24bn, having risen by 7% in value during the year despite a 3% decline in the volume of bottles shipped, to 361m litres.
Wine Australia said that there was a trend towards premium wines after seeing the value of exports above $10-a-litre rise by 22% in 2018 to reach a record $895m.
Northeast Asia was easily the most valuable market for Australian wines last year, equalling the combined value of North America and Europe, in Australian dollar terms.
This emphasises the Australian wine industry’s higher reliance on China in recent years, and also likely reflects the benefits of a free trade deal signed between Australia and China at the end of 2015.
However, Wine Australia also highlighted a 7% rise in wine exports to Europe in 2018, to A$615m, as evidence of a broad growth trend for Australian wines in many regions. Exports to Southeast Asia rose by 3% to $171m.
Exports to North America dipped by 0.1% in value versus 2017, coming in at A$636m.
However, things had been worse in this market. ‘Pleasingly, exports to North America are starting to level out after being in decline for more than 12 months,’ said Wine Australia.
This was driven by growth of 12% in Canada, whereas the United States decreased by 5%.