Australian wine exports to China including Hong Kong and Macau reached a record value of AU$1.25 billion, a jump of 18% year on year for the year ended in September, the highest increase among Australia’s top export markets, as drinkers opt for more expensive bottles, according to Wine Australia.
This means Australia has now further consolidated its leading position as China’s biggest wine supplier by value after surpassing France earlier this year, despite the country’s slowing economy, protracted US-China trade war and the monthslong anti-government protests in Hong Kong.
“Australian wine exports to China (including Hong Kong and Macau) reached a record value of $1.25 billion, an increase of 18%, with average value increasing by 40% to $8.42 per litre FOB”, says Andreas Clarke, CEO of Wine Australia.
While the International Monetary Fund had reduced its forecast growth rate for China’s economy to 6.1 % in 2019, the potential softening of consumer demand was offset by Australia’s continued strong performance in the market, says the trade body.
“Global Trade Atlas figures for the year ended August 2019 showed that overall wine imports declined by 11% value [AUD], with French wine being the biggest contributor to the decline. Australia’s long-term growth trend, coupled with France’s sudden decline, has led to Australia becoming the number one source for wine by value in China’s imported market for the first time,” he continues.
The total value of Australian wine exports during the period climbed 7% to AU$2.89 billion, and impressively, the period saw the average price of bottled wines reach a record of AU$6.79 per litre, aided with further growth for wines priced above AU$10 per litre free on board to the US, according to the wine trade organisation.
Export volumes decreased 8% to 774 million litres (86 million 9-litre case equivalents); the climb in export value and the decline in volume meant the average value increased 16% to AU$3.74 per litre, the highest level since 2008.
Exports to the US increased by 3% to AU$436 million during the year ended September 2019, while volume declined by 9% to 146 million litres, contributing to an increase to average export value.
Exports to the UK declined by 4% in value to AU$365 million and 2% in volume to 233 million litres (26 million 9-litre case equivalents), as a result of uncertainty around Brexit.
However, Australia remains number one in the UK off-trade market as it has been for 20 years, with sales growing by 0.2% in value to £1.2 billion in the year ended June 2019.