ABC Interview- Good news for Western Australian wine producers with overall boost in exports

 Australian wine exports have increased in both volume and value in the past 12 months, bringing welcome news for local producers in Western Australia.

Figures released by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) show that Australian exports rose in volume by 3.6 per cent and in value by 3.9 per cent in the 12 months to March.
AGWA CEO Andreas Clark says any rise in volume and value is significant after a slowed interest in Australian wine over the past decade.
"It comes off the back of challenging times in the recent past, and [the market] continues to be tough for many parts of the sector, but these numbers are obviously positive," he said speaking to ABC Local Radio's Country Hour.
"They are a strong signal that there's been uplift in some of our key markets and overall it's a pleasing result.
"We're seeing the overall average bottle of wine at its highest point for nearly a decade. So, these are strong signals that there's a continued growth story for the Australian wine sector".

Growth cannot be reduced to one factor

Mr Clark cited a number of factors contributing to renewed interest in Australian wine abroad, including the depreciating dollar and growth of key export markets.
"The major economies of the US and UK are rebounding and showing some growth, albeit off a low base. We've seen the austerity measures in China have caused a few hiccups, but that market's rebounding.
"We always look at a suite of factors at play and the [Australian] dollar helps, but it's not a panacea. You need to continue to work hard, get out into markets.
"It's a very competitive trading environment out there with other producing countries, so we need constantly be in front of people and getting the excitement back into what we have to offer," he said.
Australia's top five export markets include the US, UK, China, Canada and Hong Kong.

Export market critical for Western Australian producers

Kim Tyrer, President of Mount Barker Wine Producers Association, said that export growth represents opportunities for WA producers operating at the higher end of the market.
"In WA we can't compete on the cheaper, lower end, we have to be at the premium end of the market. China's very into red wine, so that suits us. The US are also very much into a similar sort of thing."
"The dollar figure is quite significant in terms of our economy and what we bring into the economy from exporting."
According to figures from the Wine Industry Association of Western Australia, WA produces around 45 million litres of wine annually, representing nearly 5 per cent of Australia's production volume, but 12 per cent of the total value.
WA produces nearly one quarter of Australia's fine wines, with around 70 per cent of vineyard area in the Margaret River and Great Southern regions.
Ms Tyrer said that the past 10 years have been tumultuous for local industry, but this has created an imperative to increase quality.
"The wine industry is very competitive and it's hard to sell your product, so it's forced us all to increase the quality of our product without a doubt.
"The key thing with export is that these things don't happen overnight. An order takes 12 months to two years to generate. So it's a lot of work. Unfortunately things don't happen quickly."

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Good news for Western Australian wine producers with overall boost in exports - ABC Great Southern - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Australian wine exports have increased in both volume and value in the past 12 months, bringing welcome news for local producers in Western Australia.
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