Domestic wine sales in Australia rose last month while exports fell, according to figures released yesterday.

The government's Bureau of Statistics reported on Monday that domestic sales were up by 3.3% to a seasonally-adjusted 34.7m litres for September. This compares to 33.6m litres in August. Year-on-year, the rise was roughly the same.

Total sales in the fiscal year to the end of June 2003 also increased by 4.2% from 386.2m litres to 402.5m litres year-on-year.

Monthly figures for exports, however, showed a reverse trend. For the month of September exports fell to 46.8m litres, worth A$210.5m ($147.1m), from 53.7m litres, worth A$224.4m ($156.8m) in August.

The figures also show a drop in the value of Australian wine exports year-on-year. In September 2002, exports of 53.7m litres were valued at A$267.8m. The average value in September's exported wine was down from A$4.99 per litre last year to A$4.50.

In the fiscal year 2002-03, Australia exported 516.5m litres of wine with a value of A$2.42 billion. In 2001-02 the figures were 418.49m litres with a value of A$2.11.