Australian wine exports decreased significantly by 30 per cent in value to $2.03 billion and 17 per cent in volume to 619 million litres in the year ended December 2021, according to Wine Australia’s latest Export Report released today.
The export figures are reflective of the unprecedentedly tough market conditions over the past 12 months as a result of deposit tariffs imposed on bottled Australian wine imported to mainland China, the continuing impact of the global freight crisis, and a counter-swing in some markets after COVID-19 related stockpiling in 2020.
The biggest driver of the decline in Australian wine exports in the 12 months to the end of December 2021 was the reduction in exports to mainland China. Exports to mainland China declined by 97 per cent in value to $29 million and by 93 per cent in volume to 6.4 million litres, a loss of nearly $1 billion in value and 90 million litres in volume, when compared to the 2020 calendar year where shipments were free from tariffs for most of the year.
Wine Australia General Manager Corporate Affairs and Regulation Rachel Triggs said the Australian wine export community was managing its way through exceptionally challenging times, which is evident in the Export Report.
“The 2021 calendar year represents the first full 12-month period since very high deposit tariffs on Australian wine imported to China were imposed, and the global impact of the challenging operating environment can now be observed in full. Because the export figures are compared to the prior 12-months, we’ll keep seeing significant differences in the year-to-date export figures as a result of the deposit tariffs until the end of 2022,” Ms Triggs said.
“Exports excluding mainland China increased by 7 per cent in value to $2 billion and decreased by 6 per cent in volume to 613 million litres. This is the first time that exports excluding mainland China have reached $2 billion for a calendar year since 2009,” Ms Triggs said.
The markets with the largest increase in value of Australian wine exports were Singapore (up 108 per cent to $166 million), Hong Kong (up 45 per cent to $191 million), South Korea (up 74 per cent to $47 million), Taiwan (up 65 per cent to $31 million) and Thailand (up 31 per cent to $28 million).
Exports valued at above $10 per litre FOB increased in value by 49 per cent when excluding mainland China, giving positive signs that demand for products which would previously have been exported to China is emerging in other markets and highlighting the importance of the Australian grape and wine sector investing in market diversification.
“The pandemic is still disrupting the on-trade, the global freight crisis is continuing to cause shipping delays and increased freight costs, and while there was export growth to many destinations, it will take time to offset the loss in trade to mainland China. This is not something that will happen overnight, nor within a year. But the Australian wine sector is resilient, and there are early signs that hard work in expanding and diversifying markets is paying off,” Ms Triggs said.
The top five markets by value were:
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