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Australian Wine Industry ‘Not All Doom And Gloom’

By Tuesday 15 December 2020No Comments

The Inland Wine Regions Alliance (IWRA) has moved to ensure the wine community it’s not all doom and gloom in the wake of the tariffs on Australian wine imported into China.

While China accounts for nearly 40 percent by value of Australian wine exports, this figure only represents approximately 10 percent by volume of Australia’s average wine production.

Despite the current Chinese trade concerns, commercial, unpackaged wine export prices remain seven percent above where they were in October 2019, and bottled commercial exports are only down one percent. This is despite a 33 percent reduction in the volume of exports to China from that of October 2019.

“Sensibly the majority of commercial winemakers in Australia have maintained key relationships with other export markets and are not largely dependent on China,” IWRA chair Jim Caddy says.

“Over the past twelve months major export destinations and domestic consumption have seen increases in commercial wine sales, which have increased demand for Australian wine.”

Out of an average of 1,230 million litres produced, the top four countries consuming Australian wine were Australia at 464 million litres (43 percent), United Kingdom at 257 million litres (24 percent), USA 130 million litres (12.7 percent) and then China at 123 mMillion litres (11.5 percent) during the past year.

“Below average winegrape crops of the last two years and sales volumes exceeding production levels indicate that current stock would be well below the ten-year average,” Mr Caddy says.

“Good sales volumes over the past 12 months by our commercial industry producers have left us in a much stronger position than during the last time we had problems.

“Overall, the Australian commercial wine sector is in a good position to weather this disruption and should not bow to pressure from retailers to discount prices. Consumers of Australian wine therefore should not expect lower prices for Australian wine as the quality of our product continues to be outstanding.”

The IWRA represents and promotes the common interests of the three inland regions of Australian winegrape growers. Member organisations including Riverland Winegrape Growers Association (RWGA), Riverina Winegrape Growers (RWG) and Murray Valley Winegrowers Incorporated (MVWI).

“The IWRA was formed to provide benefit to its members and to promote a profitable and sustainable Australian inland winegrape sector,” Mr Caddy says.

Photograph: Banrock Station in the Riverland.

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