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Western Australian winemakers expect strong exports

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The wine producers of Western Australia believe they are better placed than other parts of the country to survive a nationwide decline in exports. Wine exports have decreased by six per cent last year, with a number of factors to blame. These include the ongoing impacts of the global financial crisis, a high exchange rate for the Australian dollar, and international competition.

The average value of Australian wine exports has increased by one per cent, due mostly to a three per cent increase in the average value of bottled wine to $4.38 per litre.

An industry spokesman says the decline in exports shows the industry has a long way to go to improve returns for the sector.

Wines of Western Australia President Redmond Sweeney says the focus on premium wines from WA exporters means that it is well placed compared to other States, as it is a premium niche market. The majority of exports from the State are profitable, but the local industry just needs to increase its exports.

“Our industry wants to double its exports in the next three years to capitalise on the growth in China and also re-establish itself in our key importing nations like the United Kingdom and the United States,” he said.