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Larger crush poised to boost Australian export sales

Published:  02 August, 2017

The National Vintage Report 2017 for Australia has revealed increases in both the national wine grape crush and the average purchase price.

Released today by Wine Australia, the report shows a 5% increase in the national wine grape crush to 1.93 million tonnes in vintage 2017, alongside a 7% hike in the average purchase price for wine grapes to $565 per tonne – the highest since 2008.

Reflecting the “excellent seasonal conditions” in many regions, the increase in the crush – a continuing upward trend - would help meet the growing demand for Australian wine, both in export and domestic markets, stated the report.

The increase came relatively equally from the cool and temperature regions of Australia and the warmer inland regions (Riverina, Murray Darling–Swan Hill and Riverland), however the tonnes from the cool and temperature regions increased by 9% compared to a 3% increase in the warmer inland regions.

The red grape share of the crush increased from 52% in 2016 to 55% in 2017 due to a 12% increase in the red crush and a 2% smaller white crush.

The red grape crush growth came on the back of increasing international thirst for varieties such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, according to the report, which said for whites, a decline in the Chardonnay crush more than offset increased tonnages for other white varieties, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscat Gordo Blanco, Pinot Gris/Grigio, Colombard and Prosecco.

The increase in national average purchase price marked the third consecutive vintage where the average purchase price for wine grapes increased.

All but two of the top ten varieties showed increases in the national average purchase price. Shiraz and Colombard had the greatest increases followed by Muscat Gordo Blanco, Pinot Gris/Grigio and Chardonnay. The two exceptions were Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, which saw prices fall by 1% or less.