U.S. Thirst for Australian Wines Pushes Exports Up

More Americans are saying “cheers mate” to Aussie premium bottles.
Barossa vineyard. Courtesy Wine Australia.

Wine Australia this week touted how exports to the United States had hit their highest value in five years as demand for Australian wine continued to grow.

The report said that sales of bottles costing between $8 and $10.99 were up 40 percent over last year, while those between $15 and $19.99 soared a whopping 70 percent.

“To see 70 percent growth at $15 to $19.99 per bottle in retail is particularly compelling,” Wine Australia’s Head of Market, Americas Aaron Ridgway said in the press release that used IRI figures. The numbers represented sales in the United States for the 12 months ending in June 2017.

When a number is compelling, one is compelled to find out what’s behind it.

“Australia has had a low share (of the U.S. market) and is making up ground, hence the large relative growth,” Wine Australia spokeswoman Emily England said.

It’s A G’day For Aussie Market Share In China

The $15 to $19.99 base is quite low at 46,000 cases. Of those, Cabernet Sauvignon’s 8,340 cases represented a surge of 141 percent and Shiraz jumped 50 percent to 17,500 cases. So, while there is solid growth in the U.S. market for Australia, Italy and France do not have too much to worry about – yet.

On the other hand, the market where Australia is truly excelling is China. Mainland China saw $483 million worth of sales, a gain of 44 percent over the previous year. With that, China became the largest importer of Australian wines, displacing the United States, which was bumped to the No. 2 position. U.S. sales were up only 3 percent at $369 million.

Australia’s wine sales to the UK slipped 7 percent to $271 million, to Canada they were down 5 percent at $148 million, and Hong Kong sales slid 8 percent to $91 million.

Published on July 21, 2017
Topics: Wine News
About the Author
Leslie Gevirtz
Contributing Editor, Business

An award-winning journalist, Gevirtz spent more than 20 years covering disasters—natural, political, and financial—before becoming Reuters’ wine correspondent; a beat that guaranteed her colleagues were always glad to see her.




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