As excitement builds for ProWein Düsseldorf that starts on 19 March, we take a look at the German and Dutch markets, which are two of Australia’s most important European export markets.
Germany, with a population of 80 million people, is the world’s third largest importer of wine by volume – importing 1.4 billion litres of wine in 2016.
Australia is a small part of Germany’s imports, with a 2 per cent volume share. However, Germany is an important market for Australia, as our fifth largest export market by volume and tenth largest by value. It is the largest continental European destination for Australian wine exports.
Traditionally, Germany has imported a high proportion (83 per cent by volume and 56 per cent by value) of Australian wine in bulk, but it has recently shown strong growth in premium bottled wines – especially reds.
In 2016, red wine accounted for 93 per cent of exports in the $10 and above category, and this category has grown by a compound average rate of 5 per cent per annum over the past three years. Shiraz and Shiraz blends make up two-thirds of the value of red exports at $10 and above, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache a distant second and third.
The Netherlands, with a population of 17 million people, is a much smaller market overall but it is an important market for Australian wine. In 2016, it imported $31 million of Australian wine, compared with $45 million for Germany.
The Netherlands has also shown strong growth in the premium category, with exports at $10 and over growing by an average of 18 per cent per annum over the last three years.
In the Netherlands, while reds are still the dominant winestyle in this price segment with a 63 per cent share, whites hold a much greater share at 30 per cent.
Furthermore, whites in the $10 and over price segment have grown by an average of 36 per cent per annum over the last three years, albeit from a relatively low base. Chardonnay and Chardonnay blends is the most popular white variety (based on label claims), although Shiraz is still the dominant variety overall in the $10 and above segment.
In 2016, there were 473 Australian exporters who sent over 6,400 different wines to destinations in Europe (excluding the UK), with a total value of $214 million FOB.
Considered Europe’s most important wine fair, ProWein takes place in Düsseldorf from 19 to 21 March 2017, and the Wine Australia stand will feature more than 500 wines from 76 wineries, across 34 different regions.