Australian wine exports to China jumped by 50% in the past year

Australian wine exports to China jumped by 50% in the past year

China has confirmed its position as the biggest growth market for Australian wine as the Asian country leapfrogged the UK to become Australia's No. 2 export destination.

Australian wine exports to China surged 50% between July 2015 to June 2016, according to new Wine Australia figures released today. China accounted for AUD419m (US$319m) in sales for the 12 month period, behind only the US on AUD449m.  

The UK dropped back to third as sales remained flat at AUD369m.

China's surge follows a 32% sales increase in 2013/2014. This year's growth was once again driven by exports valued at over AUD10 per litre, up 71% to AUD169m.

Wine Australia said China's rise was helped by the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, and the growing Chinese middle class's increased interest in wine. 

Overall, growth in premium wine helped drive Australian export sales up 11% in the 12-month period.

Total wine exports jumped to AUD2.11bn from July 2015 to June 2016. Exports above AUD10 (ex-cellar) saw the biggest growth, up 26%, compared to a 4% drop for wine below AUD2.50. 

Bottled exports grew by 15% to AUD1.7bn and the average value of bottled exports increased by 9% to AUD5.35 per litre, the highest since October 2003, Wine Australia said.

Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark said: "Pleasingly, demand for Australian fine wine has continued to grow, particularly in North America and Asia. Our finest wines contributed to almost half of the total value growth in the past 12 months, with exports priced at AUD10 and over per litre up 26% to a record $499m."

This month, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation said it has introduced new certification for its member economies in an effort to simplify the wine trade process and make import and export processes more efficient.