Australian wine exports fell 30% or $860 million in 2021 as the first full year of China’s crippling tariffs on Australian bottled wine saw its previous market plummet to 14and place.

Australia’s other two major export markets, the UK and the US, which were touted as potential growth areas after the Chinese market disappeared, also fell for the year.

According to data released yesterday by Wine Australia, total exports fell 30% to $2.03 billion for the calendar year, while the average value per liter fell 15% to $3.27.

The volume of wine shipped overseas fell 17% to 619 million liters in 2021, the lowest volume shipped in a 12-month period since the year ended September 2004.

Exports to China fell $981.5 million from $1,011 million in 2020 to just $29.5 million to place it 14and on the list of Australian export destinations behind Taiwan and just ahead of Thailand.

Sales to neighboring Hong Kong, which is not subject to China’s tariffs of more than 200%, rose 45% to $191.6 million, while shipments to nearby Singapore more than doubled to reach $166 million.

The UK is now Australia’s biggest wine export market, but the value of shipments to Britain fell by $2.4 million, or 1%, in 2021 to $453 million. dollars.

The United States, the second-largest market, fell more than $30 million to $403 million, down 7%.

Wine Australia said lower UK and US sales for the year were partly the result of increased exports at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

However, significant export growth was recorded in Japan, South Korea and Denmark, in addition to strong increases in shipments to Hong Kong and Singapore.

South Australia produces 50% of the country’s wine and approximately 40% of Australian wine production is typically sold domestically and 60% exported.

Over the past decade, exports to China have grown steadily, peaking at $1.17 billion in 2019, or around 40% of all wine exports by value.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced anti-dumping and countervailing investigations in August 2020 and imposed provisional countervailing duties of 6.3-6.4% and anti-dumping duties of between 116.2% and 218.4% on Australian wine in bottle on November 28, 2020.

The tariffs were extended for a further five years on March 28 last year.

Wine Australia’s managing director of corporate and regulatory affairs, Rachel Triggs, said Australia’s wine exporting community was coping in exceptionally difficult times.

“Calendar year 2021 represents the first full 12-month period since the imposition of sky-high deposit tariffs on Australian wine imported into China, and the global impact of the challenging operating environment can now be fully observed,” she said.

“The pandemic continues to disrupt the catering trade, the global freight crisis continues to cause shipping delays and increased freight costs and although there has been growth in exports to many destinations, it will take time to compensate for the loss of trade with mainland China.

“It’s not something that will happen overnight, or in a year’s time. But Australia’s wine sector is resilient, and there are early signs that the hard work to expand and diversify markets is paying off. .

Excluding mainland China, exports rose 7% in value to $2 billion despite a 6% decline in volume.

“This is the first time that exports outside mainland China have reached $2 billion for a calendar year since 2009,” Triggs said.

The drop in sales coincided with a bumper 2021 vintage, which caused a wine glut with 2.1 billion liters of unsold Australian wine in storage, raising concerns over the availability of storage space ahead of the 2022 vintage. .

According to Wine Australia, the global freight crisis that emerged in the second half of 2021 has hampered the ability of exporters to get wine to markets, particularly in the United States and Europe.

Logistics companies Hillebrand and Flinders Port Holdings reported that the combination of a shortage of container ships and a sudden rebound in global demand led by the United States and China – compounded by labor shortages work related to COVID-19 and other factors – has resulted in port congestion, unprecedented schedule unreliability and increased costs.

However, shipments resumed in December, with the 63 million liters shipped representing the biggest month of exports since October 2020.

“Exporters have experienced both increased delays and increased container costs over the past year,” Triggs said.

“Flinders Port Holdings advised that Australia also accounts for only 1% of global container traffic, so we are at the mercy of larger international players with this increased cargo demand.

“The crisis is not expected to be resolved before the end of 2022.”

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