Imports increase, exports decrease, Australia’s vintners are unimpressed

Tuesday, 06. March 2012 | 08:02 Uhr | RED.YOOPRESS | WINE COUNTRIES
Reference: DECANTER | Translator: E.RENZIEHAUSEN
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The wine scene in Down Under is relaxed (Photo: Wines of Australia)

AUSTRALIA (Sydney) - While wine imports to Australia more and more increased in volume, exports decreased the second year in a row already. At the same time, the sale of Australian wines on the domestic market decreased by 1.5 percent. The remarkable thing is, however, that in 2011, the domestic turnover of Australian wines increased by 9.8 percent in volume. This positive development is due to the in-creased quality of the wines, Australian wine experts say.

Now, the official figures issued by the Australian Bureau of Statistics have now substantiated the situation that has been known for months. So, last year, Australia imported 67 million liters of wine from abroad, valued at 470.7 million AUD (about 382 million euro). This means a decrease of 4.2 percent in volume and of 2.6 in value, compared to the year before.

The wine, however, imports do obviously impress nor the vintners neither the big wine organizations. So, official representatives of Wine Australia as well as Tony Christensen, CEO at Accolade’s, and Corey Ryan, cellarer at the McWilliams Wine Group, say that the increased imports are good for the Australian consumer and, thus, as well for the Australian wine. “The more Rioja wines the Australians drink, the more they develop a preference for Tempranillo, which we are cultivating in large amounts”, Corey Ryan says.

Nigel Gallop, president of the Margaret River Wine Association, too, is looking relaxed at the figures: “The Australian wine industry tends to a higher wine quality, and it is benefits of this. Certainly, many consumers are looking for cheap wines, what primarily explains the import volume. Well, so far, we are still suffering from the strong Australian dollar that is supporting imports but is restraining exports.”

In general, the Australian wine industry is presenting itself optimistically. This is, nonetheless, not only due to the increased wine quality of domestic wines but as well to the slow reduction of the excess of grapes that has been achieved. In 2011, the warehouse stocks have decreased by 3.5 percent to currently 1.66 billion liters. (red.yoopress)

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