Australian domestic wine sales fell in January, according to figures released yesterday. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said that domestic sales dropped by 2.5% compared to the previous month to 33m litres, which is 5.2% down year-on-year.

While sales of white wine increased by 0.8%, red wine sales dipped by 2.7%.

Wine exports from Australia in January slid 18.1% to A$154.6m, although year-on-year this represented an increase of 16.5%. In January 2002, exports totalled A$132.6m.

In this financial year, exports have totalled A$1.3 billion so far. Europe and Russia have taken A$75m worth of wine, while North America accounts for A$66m worth.

The UK continues to be the largest single market for Australian wine, at A$53.7m, although the US bought A$52.5m of Australian wine in January, according to the Bureau.