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AUS: 2006 wine forecast down on 2005

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Australia's wine harvest will come in below last year's, according to recent figures.

A report by trade association Winemakers' Federation of Australia, released yesterday (5 June), said that the country's grape harvest this year will come in at around 1.85m tonnes, a fall of 4% on last year's record vintage of 1.9m tonnes.

As a breakdown, red winegrape intake fell slightly from 1.06 tonnes to 1 tonne. White winegrape intake, meanwhile, fell by 2.3% to 841,000 tonnes.

"The winegrape crush would have been higher had it not been for some winegrapes being left on the vines, or harvested onto the ground, in response to declining prices and poor returns for some grape growers," the federation noted.

The report also highlighted other factors affecting margins for the country's growers, including a strong Australian dollar; continuing expansion in the number of small wineries; retail consolidation and discounting, both in Australia and key export markets, and more intense global competition.

The federation is hoping to get support for a A$60m revival package at an industry summit in Melbourne this Friday. The money would be paid to growers to put parts of their vineyards into hibernation going forward.


Sectors: Wine

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