CANBERRA: China has sustained its position as Australia’s top wine export market, with the value of the market growing by 40 per cent in 2016, according to annual figures released by Wine Australia.
China overtook the United States as the biggest buyer of Australian wine at the end of 2016, according to quarterly results published in November. It is embracing imported wine faster than any other country, and increasingly the Chinese drop of choice is coming from Australia. About $520 million worth of wine was exported from Australia to mainland China in 2016, up from $370 million in 2015. When Hong Kong and Macau were taken into account the figure exported was $630 million. “It’s incredibly exciting,” Wine Australia chief executive Andreas Clark told Landline. “China is now our number one market for Australian wine — it used to be the United States, but China has now jumped ahead.”
Last year there were more than 1,300 Australian wine exporters shipping to China, and while the value of wine had increased, volume increased at a slightly stronger rate — up 45 per cent to 99 million litres — due to a surge in bulk wine exports. According to the Wine Australia data, bottled exports still accounted for 94 per cent of the Australian exports to China.