Australian wine exports grew strongly in financial 2000-01 with increases second only to the exceptional figures recorded last year, according to the Australian Wine Export Council.

Exports reached a record 339m litres in 2000-01, up 52m litres or 18% on the previous year's volume. The value of sales reached A$1.61bn (US$818m) - 19% over the previous year.

A highlight was sales to Germany, which topped A$50m - 12 months after passing A$40m. The council said that over 14 years (ended 2000-01) Export volumes had grown at a compounding annual of 18% compared with 3.6% by all wine exporting countries.

In 2000-01 the UK accounted for 49% of the volume of exports while the US accounted for a fifth of the volume. While in value terms the UK held a 43% share and the US 26%.

In percentage terms the five strongest markets were Denmark (up 83% in volume and 57% in value), the US (35% volume 32% value) Germany (26% volume 24% value) France(25% valume 46% value) and Canada (19% volume 23% value).

Consumers in Singapore, the US, Switzerland and Canada returned the highest prices to Australian winemakers.

The World Market for Wine 2001