India switches rules to wine and dine on more SA produce

Patritti wines is among a swag of South Australian businesses looking to capitalise on a new trade agreement with India that will slash tariffs on the state’s wine, grain, wool and copper exports.

Dec 05, 2022, updated Dec 05, 2022
Patritti wines is looking to capitalise on new premium wine exports to India. Photo: supplied

Patritti wines is looking to capitalise on new premium wine exports to India. Photo: supplied

Business SA is holding a statewide event this Wednesday to build on Australia ratifying an Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement with India that will lead to tariffs starting to be reduced or eliminated on 85 per cent of Australian exports that are currently valued at $14.8 billion.

While sheep meat, wool, alumina and copper are set to have tariffs slashed to zero over coming years, wine exports that currently carry a 150 per cent tariff will see this falling by between 25 per cent and 50 per cent over the next decade.

Patritti wines is joining a panel with three other businesses this Wednesday at the Business SA event to tell how the company is planning to build on its current exports to India over the past 17 years with its premium wine range.

Patritti wines export manager Anna Nuttall said the company has sold its non-alcoholic wine – that does not attract a tariff – to India for the past 17 years but seeing tariffs slashed on premium wine opened the door for growth.

Nuttall and Patritti winemaker Ben Heide are already taking steps to take advantage of the new export market conditions, travelling to Mumbai in India for a ProWine international wine and spirits conference and trade fair in October, meeting consumers and establishing new distribution networks.

“We are looking for someone to represent us for our premium wines and we met up with lots of distributers and importers,” Nuttall said, adding that the business was now discussing opportunities with two interested parties in India.

India has a rapidly growing younger population with increasing numbers switching from the national preference for spirits to wine, and its economy is forecast to great by 6.8 to 7.1 per cent this financial year.

Under the new agreement the existing tariff of 150 per cent on a $5US and higher bottle of wine will fall to 100 per cent making the opportunity to export profitably in this market sector more palatable, Nuttall said.

Patritti wines has a vineyard in the city at Marion, two others at Tatachilla and Blewett Springs in McLaren Vale and it also makes white wines using grapes from the Adelaide Hills and Eden Valley.

Other wine producers already exporting to India from South Australia include Jacobs Creek.

Chief negotiator for a Free Trade Agreement with India from the Australian Foreign Affairs and Trade Department, Frances Lisson, is also speaking at the Discover Export Opportunities with India event that Business SA is holding with the Australia India Business Council at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

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Business SA said Australia is building important new export markets with India and this would particularly support the SA wine industry after its export market was decimated in recent years by deteriorating relations between Australia and China.

Australia has been negotiating a trade agreement with India since 2011, but negotiations stalled and a sudden 60 per cent tariff was slapped on chickpeas in 2018 and a 30 per cent tariff on lentils in 2017.

In 2021, negotiations between Australia and India resumed leading to this new interim arrangement until a full Free Trade Agreement is signed. Trade between the two countries is expected to grow to more than $45 billion over the next five years.


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