The volume of Australian wine exports fell by 7 per cent in the 12 months to March to 705 million litres valued at $1.9 billion, new figures from Wine Australia show.
The average value of both bottled and bulk wine exports increased. However, an increase in the share of bulk wine exports in the mix resulted in the overall average value declining by 1 per cent to $2.65 per litre.
Wine Australia said the overall slide in export volumes was driven by a decline in bottled wine exports offsetting an increase in bulk wine exports.
Bottled exports declined due mainly to the increased prevalence of in-market packaging of wine as well as some Australian producers exiting unprofitable entry level price points.
The sector continues to be rattled by the high Australian dollar which has made Aussie wine less price competitive against other wines from regions such as South America and Europe.
The higher Australian dollar has also prompted many local winemakers to ship their wine in bulk containers to overseas markets and bottle them there.
‘‘The number of Australian exporters choosing to send wine in bulk to then bottle in-market rather than in Australia has increased significantly over the past few years,’’ Wine Australia said.