Geographe wine exports increase

Callum HunterSouth Western Times

Wine Australia’s latest export report has revealed the Geographe Wine Region experienced a 27 per cent export growth during the 2018-19 financial year.

According to the report, the region exported 117,000L of wine, valued at more than $930,000 although the average value per litre fell nine per cent to $7.99.

Wines of Western Australia chief executive officer Larry Jorgensen attributed this decrease in value to bigger, bulk orders being placed at lower rates.

“In a smaller region like Geographe, the fluctuation can be a bit bigger than it might be in bigger areas, but it is positive,” he said.

“There is a significant growth in volume for the period from June 2018 to June 2019 and there’s also the reasonable increase in aggregated value.

“It’s positive in any respect and it’s good to see that growth.”

Aside from the value per litre, the Geographe region largely followed the State trends of increased volume and value, with WA’s average value per litre having cracked the $10 a litre mark for the first time since 2011. WA’s wine regions combined exported 9.6 million litres, or $68 million worth of wine last year, up 15 per cent and 9 per cent respectively.

“The reality is Geographe is largely not an exporting region,” Mr Jorgensen said.

“Most of the producers are smaller and focus more on the domestic market and wine tourism.”

At a national level, China was revealed to be the Australian wine industry’s biggest export market, accounting for more than 40 per cent of all exports, a market worth $1.2 billion to the industry alone.

Wine Australia chief executive officer Andreas Clark said the strong growth in average value was positive for the sector.

“Our National Vintage Report 2019 released last week shows that the average grape price has lifted for the fifth year in a row, reaching $664 per tonne, the highest level since 2008,” he said.

“The turnaround in exports to the USA, which grew by 2 per cent in value to $432 million, is pleasing.”

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