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Australian chardonnay beats shiraz in wine exports as China maintains punishing tariffs



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Chardonnay has overtaken shiraz as Australia’s high export wine selection for the primary time in additional than 12 years. 

The change was revealed in Wine Australia’s export report for 2022 and has come as growers debate what to do with the purple grapes this 12 months. 

Wine Australia market insights supervisor Peter Bailey stated it had been one other powerful 12 months for wine exporters.

“We have had rising inflation, enterprise prices and rates of interest all impacting on margins and it is nonetheless a reasonably powerful working surroundings on the market,” he stated.

Australian wine exports elevated by simply 1 per cent to 623 million litres and declined 4 per cent in worth to $1.94 billion within the 12 months ending December 31, 2022.

This time final 12 months the UK was the primary export vacation spot for Australian wine for quantity and worth.

It has remained the biggest market by quantity however america is now the biggest market by worth.

An infographic showing austrlian wine exports by value had dropped by 4% in 2022, and the US was the largest market.
Australia’s wine exports fell by 4 per cent in 2022, however demand rose in Canada.(Equipped: Wine Australia)

Mr Bailey stated the lower in shipments to the UK within the second half of 2022 had been higher than the rise in general worth to different markets.  

“The decline in worth was principally pushed by the decline in shipments to the UK and this drop was anticipated because the earlier two years Australia skilled elevated shipments on account of the Brexit deadlines,” Mr Bailey stated. 

“Then we noticed a spike in demand within the off-trade [bottle shop] throughout the COVID-19 pandemic when lots of the on-trade [restaurants/bars] companies had been closed.”

There have been will increase within the worth of exports to Thailand, Malaysia and Canada to offset declines in worth to Singapore, Hong Kong and the US. 

“Exports to China have dropped to $12 million making it the twenty third largest marketplace for Australian exporters so it is now a comparatively small market general.”

White wines beat reds

Chardonnay is the highest export selection, up 11 per cent on final 12 months, adopted by shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and pinot gris/grigio. 

Buckets full of grapes
Growers of wine grapes within the Riverland, Riverina and Sunraysia are involved about low costs.(ABC Rural: Jemima Burt )

“There’s very sturdy demand for Australian white wine — not simply within the home market but in addition within the export market,” Mr Bailey stated.

“We noticed white wine exports enhance by 5 per cent in worth within the final 12 months and 10 per cent in quantity.

“Chardonnay; it is primary with quantity at 11 per cent and it was most likely pre-2010 the final time chardonnay was the primary selection exported.

“I feel that is reflective of that shifting demand in the direction of whites in lots of markets around the globe.”

Powerful outlook forward

Australia’s grape harvest is underway and the scenario does not bode effectively for the trade with the world awash with wine and home inventory ranges above a sustainable degree, based on Mr Bailey. 

Wine Australia market insights senior analyst Sandy Hathaway stated many international locations had been combating oversupply, not simply Australia.

“While you have a look at provide for the final 10 years, and consumption based on the OIV (Worldwide Organisation of Vine and Wine). there’s been this massive hole,” Ms Hathaway stated.

“It is one thing like 3 billion litres, which is greater than double what Australia usually makes in a 12 months.

“Globally we’re making extra wine than anybody desires to drink.”

Riverland grape grower Yianni John Koutouzis and his household provide grapes to wine grape cooperative CCW and make wine below their very own label.

The South Australian is happy to see the 1 per cent enhance however as a shiraz and cabernet sauvignon grower, he hopes the purple grape scenario improves.

“We’ve not determined but whether or not to drag these vines out or graft them into wine varieties like chardonnay and pinot grigio,” Mr Koutouszis.

“We’ll be struggling financially, that is for certain.

“It’ll be fairly powerful having hardly any earnings — or nothing in any respect — as a result of we’re unsure if we’ll drop these varieties to the bottom this 12 months.”

Illness for Riverina crop

Within the New South Wales Riverina — one other massive manufacturing space — grape costs are decrease than the price of manufacturing for purple wine varieties.

Illness has additionally worn out as much as half of the crop and hit white grape varieties hardest, which is a bitter blow to growers who’re counting on them for higher returns.

Grape vines with water on the ground
Jeremy Cass’s winery at Yenda within the NSW Riverina was flooded this 12 months.(Equipped: Jeremy Cass )

Riverina Winegrape Growers Affiliation chief govt Jeremy Cass stated it had been a horrible 12 months, with grape costs as little as $200 a tonne.

“We’ll see grapes being left on the vine the place they have been rejected resulting from illness presence,” he stated.

“Sadly, the white crops in some instances have been extra prone to downy mildew than among the purple crops like shiraz.

“It was the worst 12 months I’ve seen within the 27 years I have been down right here and hopefully we can’t see something like that ever once more.”