Wine Australia released details of the national crush earlier this week. There has been plenty of media commentary and a generally optimistic outlook for industry. As reported in this column last week the 2016 Riverland crush was pleasing overall with a 9.54% average price increase and a .06% yield increase from 454K tonnes in 2015, to 457K tonnes, not 2% as reported elsewhere. The national crush grew by 6% to 1.81M tonnes. At the national level, average prices improved by 14% to $526 per tonne. Wine quality has been hailed as sensational; so despite the climatic influences that imposed scheduling challenges, the outcomes have meant national price increases have been sustained for 2 successive vintages, a good indicator that the industry is putting the hard-yards of the past decade behind according to Wine Australia, the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia and Wine Grape Growers Australia. Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said it is encouraging to hear reports of outstanding quality translated into an increase in the average purchase price. ‘In the last 12 months, we’ve seen Australian wine exports grow to $2.11 billion and the strongest growth has been in wines of $10 or more per litre FOB. This increased enthusiasm for our fine wines internationally is helping to support a stronger demand for premium fruit in Australia,’ Mr Clark said.
Over coming weeks Riverland Wine will scrutinise the price dispersion report and publish further commentary. At first glance it appears the range of prices paid for winegrapes from this region were remarkably narrow. Chris Byrne said, ‘The foundations are well in place now for more focused discussions on the broader issue of sustainability and the factors impacting on the great majority of grapes and wine produced in inland regions. These are the key drivers of Australian regions, jobs and exports. Read the report