2018 was a bumper year for Australian wine exports according to the trade body Wine Australia. Although overall bottle numbers decreased slightly, exports to Northeast Asia were up 19% in value on the previous year.

In total exports reached an impressive AUS$2.24 billion with $1.23 billion going to Northeast Asia where Australia’s biggest customer is China. Interestingly, the Northeast Asian market, which is dominated by China, actually equalled the value of Australian wine exports to both North America and Europe combined.

The key driver of this increase in value is the ongoing trend of premiumisation with Chinese consumers becoming more and more likely to spend more per bottle. Bottled wine exports to the region increased by 7% in value over the previous year despite a modest 3% decrease in volume. This trend towards higher per bottle spend can also be seen with the value of Australian wine priced at AUS$10 per litre rising by 22% during 2018.

Overall Australian wine exports have demonstrated strong growth over the past year with the vast majority of the country’s key markets. Exports to Canada and the UK were up by 15%, while New Zealand grew by 14%, Singapore by 18%, and Japan by 17%. In total the trade body estimates that every day during 2018 some 21.7 million glasses of Australian wine were enjoyed across the world, with China accounting for around half of all exports by value.

The future for Australian wine exports thus looks brighter than ever, driven largely by China’s growing appetite for premium Australian wines and a buoyant global market.