Chinese demand drives Australian wine exports to record high

Australian wine exports have hit a new record high with China remaining the most lucrative market.

According to Wine Australia data the total value of exports rose 20 percent in financial year 2017-18 to 2.76 billion Australian dollars (2.05 billion U.S. dollars) while the total volume of wine exported rose 10 percent to 852 million liters.

Exports to China were worth 1.12 billion Australian dollars (832 million U.S. dollars), or 40 percent of the total export value, a 55 percent increase from the previous year.

Even with strong growth in China continuing, Wine Australia chief executive Andreas Clark said the industry could not afford to rely on one market.

"It is a great story, but like all these things, past success does not guarantee anything into the future," Clark told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Wednesday.

"We need to continue to work hard to cultivate and nurture the opportunities that sit in China as well."

Britain remained the biggest market in terms of volume despite the value of exports to the country being worth only a third of those to China.

Anne Rushton, Australia's Assistant Minister for Agriculture said the strong growth was indicative of a changing attitude within the industry.

"I think it is a recognition that at last the Australian wine industry has turned a corner, and they are focusing very much on the quality of our product," she said.

Wine Australia has targeted the United States for major marketing campaigns as part of the Federal Government's 50 million Australian dollars (37.1 million U.S. dollars) regional wine support package.