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Australian wine exports decline again

For the fourth year running, the value of Australian wine exports has fallen due to a global glut, less discretionary spending, and changing consumer preferences – but one market is looking up.

Jan 31, 2024, updated Jan 31, 2024

The total value of Australian wine exports fell by 2 per cent in the 12 months to 31 December, falling below $2 billion for the second year in a row.

The volume of wine exported also fell by 3 per cent in 2023, according to Wine Australia’s latest Export Report released today.

It marks the fourth year running that the value of Australian wine exports has declined, initially led by the loss of the Chinese market due to tariffs imposed on Australian drops.

Wine Australia attributed the latest fall to “extremely challenging” trading conditions for producers, a large proportion of which are South Australian.

However, the report noted that in the December quarter total export value was $600 million – a 23 per cent increase compared to the same quarter in 2022 and the “highest quarterly value since December 2020”.

Wine Australia said the “improved performance by value” in Q4 was “mostly driven by an increase in exports to Hong Kong”, the third-largest destination for Australian wine by value.

Over the 12 months, the United States was the top market for Australian wine by value at $364 million – a decline of 7 per cent. It was followed by the United Kingdom at $361 million (down 3 per cent), Hong Kong at $290 million (up 74 per cent), Canada at $143 million (down 24 per cent) and Singapore at $133 million (up 1 per cent).

Via Wine Australia.

Global economic tightening, more health-conscious consumers, and the global oversupply of wine made for another challenging year for the Australian wine industry according to Wine Australia general manager Paul Turale.

“Australia’s 2023 wine export results reflect the challenges being felt across the wine sector globally,” he said.

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“The December quarter performance has shown some growth but there are still many hurdles for the sector.

“We remain clear on these hurdles but are confident that the extensive activities planned in 2024 will assist in building sales and distribution across emerging and established markets.”

The report comes as South Australian wine producers participate in a series of Department of Trade and Investment-facilitated workshops designed to prepare businesses for the potential removal of Chinese-imposed tariffs on Australian wines.

Workshops end tomorrow, February 1, after being held in the Barossa, Adelaide Hills, Coonawarra and Riverland, delivered by experts in the China market and addressing topics like economics, wine market conditions, market access and entry, legal considerations and cultural awareness.

A review of wine tariffs by China is currently underway, and the state government said significant progress had been made at both state and federal levels to “stabilise the relationship with China”.

“The series of workshops for the wine and grape industry will provide important insights into the current market conditions with China, our largest export market,” Trade and Investment Minister Nick Champion said.

“We are confident there will soon be greater opportunities for our world-class wine producers to re-engage with the Chinese market and the Malinauskas Labor Government is focussed on how we can help our local industry prepare to maximise these chances.

“The South Australian Government will continue to collaborate with its industry partners to deliver initiatives that support re-engagement, build capability and re-position our wine state as a market leader in China.”

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