Media Release: Free trade agreements driving ‘ph​enomenal’ wine industry export growth

Free trade agreements are driving a strong surge in Australian wine industry exports, with more yet to come from a transformational $50 million marketing program funded by the Turnbull Government.

​Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston, opening a seminar held by the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology in Mildura today, said tariff reductions from the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) had resulted in China overtaking the United States as the most valuable destination for Australian wine.

"The value of the Chinese market grew from $364 million in 2015 to $516 million in 2016," Minister Ruston said. "This is phenomenal growth, and a testament to both the hard work of the industry, and the government effort to conclude and implement ChAFTA.

"This is just the beginning. Our wine exports are forecast to exceed 800 million litres, worth more than $2.5 billion, in 2017-18.

"We've been working closely with the industry on a number of reforms and programs that are already bearing fruit and are anticipated to drive further growth, including reform of the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) Rebate and the $10 million Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grant programme.

​"With the industry we've also developed a $50 million Regional Wine Export and Tourism Support Package that is going to transform how the industry markets itself both to consumers in key growth markets, and to international wine tourists visiting Australia.

"The potential of this package is quite exciting, and I'm looking forward to the industry taking some real ownership of it and making it work not only for their benefit, but also for that of the regional communities in which many of them operate."

Fast facts

  • Australian wine exports are forecast to top 800 megalitres, with a value of more than $2.5 billion in 2017–18, supported by strong demand for Australian wine in China and the United States.
  • Australian wine producers have enjoyed excellent outcomes under the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement, with exports to China increasing from $364 million in 2015 to $516 million in 2016. ​
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