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China’s taste is growing for expensive Australian wines

  • Sybilla Gross

    Bloomberg

Sydney, Australia   /   Mon, July 22, 2019   /   01:38 pm
China’s taste is growing for expensive Australian wines These wines have been overlooked because the regions are small and little of what they produced was making it out of the country. (Bloomberg/File)

Australian wine exports to China rose to a new high as the world’s second-largest economy developed its palate for premium labels.

The value of exports to Australia’s biggest customer increased 7 percent to A$1.2 billion ($845 million) in the 12 months to June 30, Wine Australia said Monday. That’s despite overall volumes to China falling 16 percent as demand for cheaper varieties declined -- a trend that was echoed globally.

Australian labels grew in popularity on US wine lists, with export values rising 2 percent to A$432 million -- after the second-biggest market shrank in the prior year. Meanwhile, the value of exports to the U.K. dropped 3 percent to A$373 million.

The total value of Australian wine exports grew by 4 percent to A$2.86 billion, some way off last year’s 20 percent surge. Overall export volumes fell 6 percent, driven by falling shipments of wine costing on average less than A$2.50 per liter. Wine fetching between A$100 and A$200 a liter delivered the fastest growth of 102 percent, while last year’s main driver -- the A$50-A$100 price bracket -- declined 17 percent.