Export growth to other destinations unable to offset decline to mainland China

Market Bulletin | Issue 243
21 Jul 2021
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In the year ended June 2021, Australian wine exports decreased by 10 per cent in value to $2.56 billion and by 5 per cent in volume to 695 million litres (77 million 9-litre case equivalents). The average value declined by 5 per cent to $3.69 per litre.

The key factors in the overall decline were the significant fall in exports to mainland China following the imposition of import tariffs[1] of up to 212 per cent on Australian wine in November 2020 plus the cumulative effects of three consecutive lower vintages in 2018, 2019 and 2020, which meant there was less wine available to export.

Excluding mainland China, exports increased by 12 per cent in value to $1.96 billion and increased by 6 per cent in volume to 643 million litres (71 million 9-litre case equivalents). However, these increases did not offset the decline in exports to mainland China (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Exports over time (Billion AUD FOB) – Mainland China versus Rest of the World

Figure 2 illustrates the steady growth in the average price per litre of both glass bottle and unpackaged shipments over the past five years. The drop in the bottled average price from November 2020 to January 2021 was due to the decline in exports to mainland China where exports have been heavily weighted to wines priced at $10 or more per litre. However, the decline in the bottled average price has stabilised in the past five months as exports have increased to other destinations.

Figure 2: Average price per litre of glass bottle and unpackaged exports over time (A$ per litre FOB)

The decline in the overall average value is due to a drop in the share of bottled wine in the export mix, from 45 per cent in 2019–20 to 39 per cent in 2020–21. The change in the mix is due to the decline in bottled exports to mainland China as well as an increase in unpackaged exports to the United Kingdom (UK).

The most significant growth came in exports to Europe, up 18 per cent to $724 million, the highest value since 2010–11. There was also growth to South East Asia, up 14 per cent to $207 million and Oceania, up 4 per cent to $107 million. The growth to these destinations was offset by the decline to Northeast Asia (which includes mainland China), down 29 per cent to $909 million, as well as to North America down 5 per cent to $586 million.

Figure 3: Change in value of exports by region (A$ million FOB)

United Kingdom

The growth in exports to the UK was much stronger in the first half of the year, due to the surge in wine sales in the off-trade sector spurred by the COVD-19 related shut-down of the on-trade as well as some exporters sending wine into the market ahead of Brexit. Exports to the UK increased by 40 per cent to $255 million in the first half of the financial year and by 8 per cent to $218 million in the second half. While growth in the second half was at a much lower rate, the growth in Quarter 4 (up 10 per cent) was stronger than Quarter 3 (up 6 per cent).

Mainland China

Since the imposition of import tariffs, exports of Australian wine to mainland China have dropped dramatically. Total exports for Quarters 3 and 4 in 2020–21 were $13 million compared to $419 million in 2019–20.

United States

Exports to the US declined 7 per cent by value to $400 million and by 8 per cent by volume to 127 million litres (14 million 9-litre case equivalents). The average value increased by 1 per cent to $3.13 per litre, the highest for a financial year since 2008–09.

Most of the decline in export value came in Quarter 4, with value falling by $31 million compared to the same quarter in 2019–20. The decline is the result of several factors. Firstly, there was a substantial increase in exports in Quarter 4 in 2019–20 which reflected the COVID-19-related surge in off-trade sales in the US when the on-trade sector was shut-down. This year, with the on-trade re-opening and the off-trade returning to more normal activity, there was counter-swing. As a result, exports declined. Secondly, some exporters had less volume available to export and this was most visible in Quarter 4 as stock levels were unable to support growth.

Other destinations

Over the year, destinations that recorded value growth with exports of $5 million or more were:

  • Singapore, up 16 per cent to $114 million (Singapore is a significant trading hub in the Asian region)
  • New Zealand, up 5 per cent to $98 million
  • Germany, up 9 per cent to $55 million
  • South Korea, up 111 per cent to $45 million (now almost on par with Japan)
  • Malaysia, up 23 per cent to $38 million
  • Thailand, up 48 per cent to $26 million
  • Taiwan, up 29 per cent to $26 million
  • Belgium, up 16 per cent to $19 million
  • France, up 36 per cent to $17 million
  • Finland, up 20 per cent to $14 million
  • Ireland, up 30 per cent to $13 million
  • Russia, up 48 per cent to $10 million
  • Norway, up 49 per cent to $9 million
  • Switzerland, up 13 per cent to $6 million, and
  • Vietnam, up 7 per cent to $5 million.

The combined value of these 11 destinations is $464 million, which is roughly the equivalent of exports to the UK.

For more detailed analysis please visit our Australian wine exports page. To dig through the export data yourself, please use the Export Dashboard.


[1] China’s Ministry of Commerce (MofCom) announced Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duty investigations in August 2020. It announced final determinations on 26 March 2021 upholding the preliminary findings for both investigations (dumping, subsidisation, injury to domestic industry announced in November) and imposed countervailing duties of 6.3–6.4 per cent and anti-dumping tariffs of between 116.2 per cent and 218.4 per cent (varying by company). The tariffs are marginally higher than the preliminary duties imposed on 28 November and apply for five years from 28 March 2021.


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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.