Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, and South Australian Senator Anne Ruston welcomes news that the value of Australian wine exports has surged 14 per cent to $2.1 billion in 2015, reaching its highest value since October 2007.
Wine Australia's 2015 Export Report shows that for the first time in over two decades, the value of Australian wine exports has grown in each of our nation's top fifteen export markets – a result which builds on the collective hard work of our industry.
Figures of exceptional growth are highlighted by large export increases to China, Japan and Korea: China had the strongest growth of 66 per cent to $370 million; Japan increased by 12 per cent in value to $46 million, and; exports to Korea have jumped 38 percent in value to $11.7 million.
Minister Ruston congratulated the Australian wine industry, and said that the Wine Australia figures indicate that the industry is responding confidently to improved market access secured through new, and forecast International trade agreements.
"I would like to congratulate the Australian wine industry on the export figures released today, as they are first and foremost a reflection of the collective hard work of our industry.
"The Coalition Government is committed to completing and implementing the free trade agreements that will provide economic opportunities for future generations; we've improved market access into Asia, and the Australian wine industry has certainly responded well, with our wine exports surging to $2.1 billion in 2015."
In particular, Assistant Minister Ruston points to the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA),the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) and the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) as the agreements which have provided a market setting conducive for industry success.
"Internationally, we are now seeing large-scale retailers put more focus on the Australian category, and a number of importers, including some of Japan's largest, have started importing new Australian wines, giving more energy to the market place.
"The fact that Australia's strongest export growth was recorded in to China, and the new ChAFTA effects are not yet reflective in Wine Australia's figures really does indicate that we are in the midst of yet another boost in market optimism. Under ChAFTA, the tariff on bulk wine has already reduced from 20 per cent to 12 per cent, and the tariff on bottled wine has reduced from 14 per cent to 8.4 per cent.
"The JAEPA has been in force for 12 months now, and the industry is responding well to the agreement which immediately cut tariffs on bulk wine to zero and will reduce tariffs on bottled wine over a seven-year period.
"After a year of the KAFTA which saw the removal of the15 per cent tariff on Australian wine, exporters to South Korea have increased by 38 per cent to $11.7 million in value, hitting their highest value since 2008.
"Hopefully we soon see these great figures for wine exporters reflected at the farm gate with high grape prices."
Wine Australia Chair, Mr Brian Walsh said the board was delighted to see growth in each of Australia's top fifteen export markets for the first time since Wine Australia started collecting export figures in 1990.
"It's a strong signal that we are on the path to see a revitalised and more prosperous sector and we will continue to work with our grape growing and winemaking community to capture these developing export opportunities,"said Mr. Walsh
For more detail about Wine Australia's 2015 Export Report visit: http://www.wineaustralia.com.