Wine exports hit $2.1 billion

AUSTRALIAN wine exports surged 14 per cent to $2.1 billion in 2015, its highest value since October 2007, according to an industry report.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water ResourcesAnne Ruston welcomedthe news from the Wine Australia2015 Export Report.

Ms Ruston said for the first time in more than two decadesthe value of Australian wine exports hadgrown in each of Australia’stop 15 export markets.

Figures of exceptional growth are highlighted by large export increases to China, Japan and Korea: China had the strongest growth of 66 per cent to $370 million; Japan increased by 12pcin value to $46m, and; exports to Korea have jumped 38pcin value to $11.7m.

Ms Rustonsaid the figures indicatedthe industry was responding confidently to improved market access secured through new, and forecast International trade agreements.

“I would like to congratulate the Australian wine industry on the export figures released today, as they are first and foremost a reflection of the collective hard work of our industry,” she said.

“Internationally, we are now seeing large-scale retailers put more focus on the Australian category, and a number of importers, including some of Japan’s largest, have started importing new Australian wines, giving more energy to the market place.

“The fact that Australia’s strongest export growth was recorded in to China, and the new China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA)effects are not yet reflective in Wine Australia’s figures really does indicate that we are in the midst of yet another boost in market optimism.

“Under ChAFTA, the tariff on bulk wine has already reduced from 20pcto 12pc, and the tariff on bottled wine has reduced from 14pcto 8.4pc.

“The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA)has been in force for 12 months now, and the industry is responding well to the agreement which immediately cut tariffs on bulk wine to zero and will reduce tariffs on bottled wine over a seven-year period.

“After a year of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA)which saw the removal of the 15pctariff on Australian wine, exporters to South Korea have increased by 38pcto $11.7 million in value, hitting their highest value since 2008.

“Hopefully we soon see these great figures for wine exporters reflected at the farm gate with high grape prices.”

Wine Australia chairmanBrian Walsh said the board was delighted to see growth in each of Australia’s top 15 export markets for the first time since Wine Australia started collecting export figures in 1990.

“It’s a strong signal that we are on the path to see a revitalised and more prosperous sector and we will continue to work with our grape growing and winemaking community to capture these developing export opportunities,” MrWalshsaid.

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