09/07/2014 - 12:59

$100m Asian wine export target

09/07/2014 - 12:59


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WA’s wine producers have a new strategy to boost business.

$100m Asian wine export target

WA’s wine producers have a new strategy to boost business.

Western Australian wine producers are pinning their hopes on the continued rise of Asia’s middle class to bankroll a doubling of wine exports in the next three years.

A collaboration of industry stakeholders has released a strategic plan for the industry, which includes increasing exports to $100 million by 2018 as a main goal, despite exports yet to recover to pre-GFC levels.

The value of WA wine exports reached a high of $59.2 million in 2006, but dropped sharply to $33 million in 2010. Export sales rebounded to $43.5 million in 2012, yet accounted for only 13 per cent of the state’s total wine production.

The national average for wine exports is 60 per cent of total production.

The increasing wealth in China and Hong Kong has been largely responsible for the rebound, with about 50 per cent of exported wine by value going to Asian markets (30 per cent of that to China).

It’s predominantly those Asian nations wine producers are targeting in the plan to significantly boost exports.

The stakeholder report says exports to China have risen 150 per cent in recent years.

The strategy to further increase those exports includes collaboration between government and exporters with a focus on individual regional fine wine brands.

“This could lead to regional fine wines from WA being established as a luxury, clean and green brand in Asia with routes to market in China improved for WA exporters,” the report says.

“The industry could explore opportunities for a Western Australian wine ambassador similar to those engaged by other Australian food sectors such as the Australian lamb campaign and the MLA, Elders, and Shangri-La joint venture that promotes high-end Australian beef in China.”

WA is known for producing high-quality wines and accounts for nearly one quarter of the country’s fine wine production – considered specialty and super-premium.

China imports mostly red wine, which prompted the strategic review group to also encourage a re-engagement with North American markets that favour white wine.

The strategic plan is the first since 1997 and chair of the review committee, Nigel Gallop of Fraser Gallop Estate in Margaret River, said the industry had never been in better shape.

“We are maturing nicely,” he said.

“Recent extraordinary international and domestic wine show results prove we are focusing our energy correctly with the right varieties in the right regions.”


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