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Aussie crush down but exports rise

Published:  29 January, 2010

Australia's grape crush was down 5.4% in 2008-09, according to official data released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The vintage weighed in at 1.7 million tonnes. The area of grape vines fell by 157,000 hectares and the yield dropped to 10.7 tonnes per hectare.

According to the ABS, the crush produced 1.2 billion litres of wine, down by 5.9% on last year's figure. Red and rosé wine production amounted to 630 million litres, down 6.8%, and white wine accounted for 542 million litres, down 4.5%.

Exports of Australian wine rose 5.2% (to 752 million litres) and domestic sales went up slightly to 430 million litres.

Despite the rise in exports and domestic sales, inventories of wine remained at 1.9 billion litres, 1 billion litres of which are accounted for by red and rosé table wine.

The 13 largest winemakers processed 1.3 million tonnes of grapes, or 73% of the total crush. These 13 businesses averaged 98,000 tonnes each. Conversely, the 76 smallest winemakers accounted for only 0.4% of all grapes crushed and averaged 96 tonnes each, the ABS said.

A third of all winemaking locations were in South Australia, accounting for 43% of the national wine grape crush.