Rocketing Chinese demand and new free trade agreements in Asia have helped lift the value of Australian wine exports to their highest level since before the global financial crisis. The value of wine exports to China grew by 66 per cent to $370 million in 2015, new figures from industry body Wine Australia show.
Surging Chinese demand has combined with new free trade agreements (FTAs) with Japan and South Korea, and gains in the key US market, to increase Australian wine exports for 2015 by 14 per cent to $2.1 billion.
The figures, released on Thursday, are the highest value achieved for Australian wine exports since October 2007 and mark the first time growth has been recorded in every one of the country’s top 15 export markets.
It’s the second year in a row that the value of wine exports has risen; there was a two per cent gain in 2014, and a welcome turnaround for winemakers who had seen export dollars decline over the preceding six years.
Wine Australia said a 16 per cent increase in the value of exports to Japan was largely due to the free trade agreement that took effect in January 2015, reducing import tariffs into the country for some products.