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Photo: Tim Jones / Wine Australia

Growing the USA market is the focus following 20 per cent growth in Australian wine exports in 2017–18

Photo: Tim Jones / Wine Australia
24 Jul 2018

After 20 per cent growth in the value of Australian wine exports to $2.76 billion (the highest rate of growth in 15 years) and the average value of wine growing by 9 per cent to $3.24 per litre (its highest value since 2009), the Australian grape and wine community is redoubling its efforts in the USA market.

Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark said the strong growth in the value and volume of Australian wine exports is very welcome, but Wine Australia’s Export Report for the year ended 30 June 2018 makes the challenges and opportunities for the sector very clear.

‘Of our five largest markets, only one market – the USA – didn’t grow in value last year. Importantly, the USA is the world’s largest wine market and Australia has the opportunity to capture more of the premium end of the market as American consumers trade up to higher priced wines’, Mr Clark said.

‘Australia has been very strong in the commercial half of the USA market (54 per cent of the US off-trade volume is wines under US$8 per bottle), but this market is shrinking. As American consumers transition from commercial wines to more premium wines, Australia has to be there to capture the opportunity.

‘The premium end of the USA wine market is enjoying robust growth, as are Australian exports in nearly all price points above $10 per litre (albeit off small bases) and we’re working to accelerate this growth in demand through a marketing push supported by the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package.

‘On Sunday, we launched our inaugural Australia Decanted at Lake Tahoe, California. This four-day wine education program is immersing 100 key influencers from the USA in Australia’s diverse and thriving wine scene to raise awareness of the breadth of Australia’s fine wine offering and the perception of the Australian wine category in the USA.

‘Australia Decanted will become Wine Australia’s signature annual event in the USA and will be followed by Aussie Wine Week in September this year and Aussie Wine Month in September 2019’, he said.

Wine Australia Export Report highlights for the 12 months ending 30 June 2018

  • The highest export value growth rate in 15 years: the value of Australian wine exports grew by 20 per cent to $2.76 billion.
  • Record export volume: volume grew by 10 per cent to a record 852 million litres, or 95 million 9 litre case equivalents.
  • Highest average value since 2009: the average value of exported wine increased by 9 per cent to $3.24 per litre.
  • Record average value of bottled wine: the value increased by 19 per cent to $2.2 billion, the volume increased by 8 per cent to 376 million litres (around 42 million 9 litre case equivalents) and the average value of bottled exports reached a record $5.94 per litre.
  • Record value and volume of exports in bulk containers: value increased by 22 per cent to $504 million, volume increased by 11 per cent to 467 million litres (or about 52 million 9 litre cases) and the average value of bulk exports increased by 10 per cent to $1.08 per litre.
  • The increase in average value of bottled exports was shared by 69 of the 127 destinations for Australian wine, with demand for premium Australian wine in Northeast Asia being the biggest contributor to value and volume growth.
  • The growth in exports was driven by a 15 per cent increase in active exporters compared to the previous 12 months, with 2298 exporters shipping 23,761 unique products. Of these exporters, 1616 either started exporting or grew the value of their exports, contributing $653 million to the growth in overall export value.

Figure 1: Number of Australian wine exporters (year ended June 2018)

Price points

In the 12 months to June 2018, all but one of Australia’s export price segments showed growth, as detailed in Table 1 below, with exports above $10 per litre increasing by 45 per cent to $855 million, a record value.

The key price segments that drove this growth were wines priced $20–29.99 per litre FOB and $50–99.99 per litre FOB, both of which grew by over 80 per cent. Also driving growth in overall value is the $2.49 per litre FOB and under segment, reflecting the increase in demand for bulk shipments.

Table 1: Exports of wine by price point (Million AUD FOB)


Nearly all regions that Australia exports wine to increased in value in the past 12 months, with Northeast Asia having the stand out performance, growing by 51 per cent to $1.2 billion.

Other regions that experienced encouraging growth included:

  • Europe, by 7 per cent to $608 million
  • Southeast Asia, by 3 per cent to $168 million
  • Oceania, by 15 per cent to $99 million, and
  • the Middle East, by 39 per cent to $30 million.

North America was the only region to decline in value, by 4 per cent to $624 million, a $12 million increase in the value of exports to Canada only partially offsetting a $39 million decrease in the exports to the USA.

The top 5 markets by value in 2017–18 were:

  • China, including Hong Kong and Macau (40 per cent of export value)
  • USA (15 per cent)
  • United Kingdom (14 per cent)
  • Canada (7 per cent), and
  • New Zealand (3 per cent).

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For further information, or access to video interviews please contact:

Wine Australia

Anita Poddar

Corporate Affairs Manager

Phone: 08 8228 2038 or 0417 819 978


About Wine Australia

Wine Australia supports a competitive wine sector by investing in research, development and extension (RD&E), growing domestic and international markets and protecting the reputation of Australian wine.

Wine Australia is funded by grape growers and winemakers through levies and user-pays charges and the Australian Government, which provides matching funding for RD&E investments.

Wine Australia is a Commonwealth statutory authority established under the Wine Australia Act 2013.

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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.