Wine was the standout commodity in an otherwise doleful year for Australian exports, according to official figures.

The department of foreign affairs and trade reported that manufacturing exports fell more than 7% in the last financial year, the result of a stronger local currency, currently trading at around US$0.78, and a drought.

The value of total manufactured exports fell by more than A$2.3 billion (US$1.79 billion) to A$30.02 billion (US$23.56 billion). Coincidentally the fall is virtually equal to the current total of wine exports, standing at A$2.4 billion (US$1.87 billion). The figures prompted calls from the Australian Industry Group (AIG) for strong policy support from the federal government.

"Taxation, education and training together with research and development is needed," said AIG spokesman Heather Ridout.