The rise in value of Australia's wine exports outstripped volume last year, according to recent figures.

The Australian Wine & Brandy Corporation said today (8 January) that exports of wine from the country in 2007 inched up by 3% on 2006, the smallest annual rise since 1997. In value terms, however, sales rose by 6% on the year before, hitting A$3bn (US$2.64bn). The value climb signified the largest year-on-year increase since 2004.

The average price per litre of exported wine rose by 3% to A$3.83 per litre, the AWBC noted.

While the strong Australian dollar knocked exports to the US, the average price per litre of wine sent to the country was up by 7% to A$4.49 per litre. The UK continued as Australia's top export market, with volume rising by 9% on 2006 to 290m litres and value up by 6% to A$985m.

Last month, Sam Tolley, the chief executive of the AWBC, announced that he was standing down. Tolley had led the trade body for 13 years.