New figures show a turnaround in prices for middle level Australian wine exports after two successive years of decline in the important A$5-7.49 bracket, the Wine and Brandy Corporation has reported.

Total Australian shipments reached a record 661m litres in the financial year 2004-05, an increase of 14% on the previous year. Shipments in the mid-price range, however, were up by 18%.

Corporation prices are FOB, which equates roughly with wholesale levels.

Corporation chief executive Sam Tolley said wine had become Australia's third most valuable agricultural export. The UK remains the largest market in volume and value followed by the US. The Corporation said there was also substantial growth in sales to Canada, Denmark and Japan.