Home > Demand from China good news for Australian wine industry

Demand from China good news for Australian wine industry

Editorial
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The growth of Australia's wine industry over the last twelve months can in large part be attributed to demand from China's middle class, according to a leading wine critic.

James Halliday told ABC News Breakfast that China now takes 50 per cent of Australia's highest-price wines and this is good news for the local industry.

"In the 12 months to June 30, Australian wine exports to China increased in value by 50 per cent [to $419 million]. Over the same period of time the US increased by 9 per cent," he said.

Halliday added that the fact that the US has its own strong wine industry makes it harder for Australian wines to establish themselves there. In contrast, he said, the Chinese wine industry is still growing and has not yet reached comparable strength.

“China is starting to make some good-quality wine right up north, with a lot of Australian and French input … but it is still, and is likely to be, a slow-growing industry,” he said.

According to a report released last week by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia and Wine Grape Growers Australia, this year there was an increase of 6 per cent in the national crush to an estimated 1.81 million tonnes.

In addition, it found that the average price paid for wine grapes grew by 14 per cent to $526 per tonne across Australia, the highest average price since 2009.

The increase in the weighted average purchase price was supported by an increase in the amount of fruit sold in the top graded categories of above $1500 per tonne.

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