(Australian Associated Press)
Australian wine exports to mainland China have soared 63 per cent to a record $848 million, helping drive up total exports in 2017 to $2.56 billion.
Mainland China accounted for a third of total exports by value in the last calendar year, with the huge growth more than offsetting narrow declines in the next three biggest export destinations of the US, UK and Canada.
Total exports by value surged 15 per cent, the highest annual growth rate since 2004, while volume increased eight per cent to a record 811 million litres.
Andreas Clark, the chief executive of industry body Wine Australia, also noted the average value per litre free on board had risen seven per cent to $3.16 – the highest level since 2009.
“Growing demand for premium Australian wine, particularly in northeast Asia, increased the value of bottled wine exports by 17 per cent to $2.1 billion,” Mr Clark said.
The average price per litre for bottled wine grew three per cent to a record $5.63.
Exports of wines priced above $10 per litre grew 29 per cent to a record $738 million, and premium $200-plus wines rising leaping 67 per cent to $54 million.
Red wine continued to dominate exports, with Shiraz generating $601 million, Cabernet Sauvignon $341 million, and blends of the two contributing $187 million.
Chardonnay was next with $182 million, followed by Merlot at $114 million.
Shares in Treasury Wine Estates, a major producer and exporter to China, on Tuesday have hit an all-time high of $16.645.
At 1149 AEDT, they were up 65 cents, or 4.1 per cent, at $16.58.