Australian wine sales in the UK boomed in in the 12 months to December 2020, driven by increased demand at the beginning of the pandemic and in the lead up to Brexit.
Exports in the 12 months ended December 2020 to the UK increased by 29% in value to $456 million and 19% in volume to 266 million litres (29.6 million cases) according to Wine Australia’s latest Export Report. The results extends the UK’s lead as the biggest destination for Australian wine exports by volume. The average price received for Australian wine sales increased by 9% to $1.71 per litre FOB, the highest level since September 2011.
Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, exports hit a record year-on-year value of $3.1 billion in the 12 months ended October 2020, before recording a steep decline in the final two months of the calendar year. The previous year-on-year high point had been $3 billion reached in 2007.
Clark said that there had been a sharp increase in exports from August to October, primarily to mainland China and the United Kingdom (UK), while the decline in November and December was predominantly in exports to China.
Clark said that, unsurprisingly, exports to mainland China were immediately down following the imposition of temporary tariffs in November. The sharp decline in export volumes and value in the final two months of the year saw the overall value for 2020 decline by 14% to $1.01 billion and volume drop by 29% to 96 million litres (10.7 million 9-litre case equivalents).
It was expected that exports to China would remain low in coming months affecting total export numbers during 2021 and denting wine sales.
Clark said the decline in exports to China had been offset by significant growth in exports to Europe, up 22% to $704 million – the highest value in a decade. There was also growth in North America, up 4% to $628 million, and Oceania, up 11% to $115 million.
“Wine businesses are resilient and are already adapting to these changed market conditions, increasing their engagement in markets other than China, particularly the UK, US, Canada and the domestic market,” he said.
The top 5 markets by value
- Mainland China, down 14% to $1.01 billion
- United Kingdom (UK), up 29% to $456 million
- United States of America (US), up 4% to $434 million
- Canada, up 5% to $192 million
- Hong Kong, up 27% to $132 million
The top five destinations by volume
- UK up 19% to 266 million litres
- US down 1% to 136 million litres
- Mainland China down 29% to 96 million litres
- Canada up 0.3% to 56 million litres
- Germany up 10%