The group says the prospects are good for New Zealands wine producers this year

The group says the prospects are good for New Zealand's wine producers this year

New Zealand's wine export market rose 3% by value to NZD1.2bn (US$1.02bn) in 2012/13, but volumes fell, according to a new report from the country's wine industry trade body.

In its annual report, published yesterday (21 October), New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW) said that, while value sales in the 12 months to the end of June increased, volumes dropped by 5% to 169.6m litres. 

Sales to its number one market of Australia slipped by 2% in value to NZD373m. But, export sales to the US were up by 13% to NZD283.7m. New Zealand's third largest market, the UK, saw sales and volumes fall.

“The rise in export value was driven by a shift towards packaged products, higher prices for bulk wines and a move to higher value markets, notably North America,” said NZW chairman Steven Green. “However, the strong New Zealand dollar continued to blunt returns back to producers.”

Canada also performed well for New Zealand growers, with exports up by 10% to NZD78.2m, as did China, where sales were up in the 12-month period by 6% to NZD26.9m.

Sauvignon Blanc continued to dominate, with the varietal accouting for 84.5% of exports. 

Looking ahead, Green added: “The sales prospects for the year ahead look very positive so it should be no surprise there is a renewed optimism amongst growers and wineries.” 

New Zealand is the world's eighth largest wine exporter by value, the report found.