Australia Exports Fall in Volume and Value

The 2023 figures make uncomfortable reading for the southern hemisphere nation that once seemed to be an unstoppable champion exporter.

Reading time: 1m 45s

Australia export figures (Source: Wine Australia)
Australia export figures (Source: Wine Australia)

As Australia’s winemakers bite their nails in anticipation of a removal by China of its punishing tariffs, their recent performance as exporters to other markets has been unimpressive. The latest figures, for the 12 months to December 2023 show a fall in value of 3% and an only slightly better drop in value by 2%.

Two countries – the UK and US - take 58% of Australia’s volume and 38% of its value, and both of these spent less on Australian wine in 2023 than in 2022, though the UK actually bought 2% more of it. Britain’s 3% drop in value and the US’s 7% fall were dwarfed by Canada’s 24% slide, though here too, there was actually a significant, 7%, rise in volume.

The only bright spot, when looking at value, was Hong Kong which saw a massive 74% rise, taking it to third on the table with 15% share of total export value – not far behind the UK’s and US’s 19%. Strikingly, the number of Australian wineries exporting to Hong Kong nearly quadrupled – from 138 to 531, and many observers will wonder how much of their wine slipped across the border to the Chinese mainland.

It will be interesting to see how Hong Kong import figures are affected by a reopening of the Chinese market this year.

However, few people who have been following China’s plummeting wine consumption will expect that country to mop up very much of Australia’s excess production, and if 2023 is anything to go by, nor will markets elsewhere.

Australia export figures (Source: Wine Australia)
Australia export figures (Source: Wine Australia)

Top five markets by value

  • US (down 7 per cent to $364 million. 19 per cent share of total export value)
  • UK (down 3 per cent to $361 million. 19 per cent share of total export value)
  • Hong Kong (up 74 per cent to $290 million. 15 per cent share of total export value)
  • Canada (down 24 per cent to $143 million. 8 per cent share of total export value), and
  • Singapore (up 1 per cent to $133 million. 7 per cent share of total export value).

Top five markets by volume

  • UK (up 2 per cent to 220 million litres. 36 per cent share of total export volume)
  • US (down 5 per cent to 134 million litres. 22 per cent share of total export volume)
  • Canada (up 7 per cent to 73 million litres. 12 per cent share of total export volume)
  • New Zealand (down 2 per cent to 29 million litres. 5 per cent share of total export volume), and
  • Germany (down 7 per cent to 27 million litres. 4 per cent share of total export volume).
Insights Wine

Three different problems converged on Australia’s wine producers, leaving them awash in excess wine. Felicity Carter hears what’s being done to drain the pool.

Reading time: 6m 30s

 

 

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