Domestic demand for Australian wine is softening, according to latest official figures. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said sales slipped by 1.6% in November over the previous month, though they were still 2.6% above the November 2003 level.

These were the second batch of wine sales figures in as many days. Earlier the Wine and Brandy Corporation said demand from UK drinkers and global acceptance of Australian red pushed export sales up 15% in calendar 2004 compared with 2003.

Export profitability was down, however, with the average price per litre shrinking.