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Exports to China surge $86 million as Government reveals support package

By Wednesday 12 June 2024June 20th, 2024One Comment

Australia has exported $86 million of wine to China since the crippling tariffs were axed in March.

The news came as the Albanese Government today announced a new support package for the Australian wine industry.

“The majority of Australian wine exports to China are from South Australia,” Trade Minister Don Farrell and Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said in a joint statement.

“South Australian wine producers have exported almost $80 million of wine to China in the first month since duties were removed (92.1 percent of Australia’s total wine exports to China).

“This is a great outcome for our wine producers, after three years of trade disruptions, along with natural disasters and global reductions in demand.”

Farrell said that 350 Australian wine producers and businesses have re-established exports to mainland China since duties were removed.

“The re-entry of Australian wine into the Chinese market benefits both Australian producers and Chinese consumers,” he said.

“The Albanese Government is working with industry to support the re-entry of our world-class Australian wine to the Chinese market, and to continue to diversify their markets.”

Australia exported $1.2 billion of wine to China before the market collapsed because of the tariffs.

Government announces support package

The Albanese Government announced a $3.5 million Grape and Wine Sector Long-term Viability Support Package to support the industry.

The package will fund a range of activities which aim to build demand and new markets for wine both domestically and internationally, provide better data for growers to make decisions and diversify into alternative products, and investigate competition and regulatory issues.

The Government will also extend support for wine producers to grow domestic sales and promote agritourism by supporting the Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grant Program for another year.

This allows wine and cider businesses to share $10 million in funding to help attract visitors to Australian wine regions and promote agritourism.

Under the program, wine producers can apply for grants of up to $100,000 on eligible cellar door sales made during the previous financial year.

The announcements come on top of $2 million surge support for affected Australian agricultural exporters to re-establish commercial connections in China and continue to diversify into other markets.

Murray Watt said, “I know how hard the past few years have been for wine producers across the country, so to see the successful return of this export market is fantastic for the future of the wine sector.

“But we also know there are some in the industry who are doing it tough who don’t export to China, and that’s why today we have announced this new package to support the long-term sustainability of the sector.

“Through this new funding we will start the important work on a national vineyard register, promote Australian wine domestically, and put people in overseas markets like Japan and China to build trade relationships.

“These are initiatives that industry has been consistently calling for through the working group consultations, and we are delivering on them.”

The announcement came ahead of a visit to Australia by Chinese Premier Li Qiang.

Support “does not go far enough”

Australian Grape & Wine welcomed the $3.5 million in funding but says it does not go far enough.

“We are pleased with the government’s swift response to feedback received during the Viticulture and Wine Sector Working Group’s consultations,” CEO Lee McLean says.

“The planned activities to boost demand, open new markets, provide better data, diversify products, and investigate competition and regulatory issues represent a modest investment towards addressing medium to long-term issues in our sector.”

McLean stressed the urgent need for solutions to the current supply and demand imbalance, red wine oversupply and increasing economic disadvantages in regional Australia.

“While these measures will support future policy and decision-making, immediate assistance for grape growers and winemakers remains critical. The long-term viability of our industry is essential to the economic success of communities across rural and regional Australia,” he says.

“Australian Grape & Wine remains committed to constructive engagement with the government to address these challenges.

“The industry hopes to see additional investment when the final report of the Working Group is presented to government in July, reflecting the sector’s $45.5 billion contribution to the economy.”

 

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