New Zealand toasts wine export success

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: New zealand

New Zealand's wine producers will be raising a glass to a
successful 2007 after posting record annual exports sales of
NZ$700m (€361m), a 36 per cent increase over last year.

The performance for the twelve-month period ending 30 June 2007, ensures the industry remains on track for acheiving projected export sales of $1bn (€516m) by 2010, according to the association of the country's wine growers latest annual report. The findings will put further pressure on the European wine industry, which is indergoing radical reforms in a bid to improve its competitiveness against rivals particularly from new world producers like Australia and New Zealand. Markets like the UK, Australia, and the US all significantly contributed to the growth. In the crowded UK market alone, exports sales rose by 37 per cent to NZ$227m (€117m), while emerging markets in the US led to a 27 per cent sales increase with a value of NZ$176m (€90m). Australia posted the most notable increase, with sales up 47 per cent to NZ$180m (€93m). Domestically, sales for the period exceeded NZ$500m (€258m) with 51m litres of the product consumed. This was driven in part by a second consecutive record grape crop within the country of 205,000 tonnes, up 11 per cent over the same period last year. New Zealand Winegrowers chair Stuart Smith said the growth reflected the country's growing prevalence within the global wine market. "The New Zealand wine industry has come of age," he stated. "After growing steadily for two decades, it is now a major player in the New Zealand economy and the international wine market." Looking ahead Smith said that the outlook for the industry remained bright, though it despite facing challenges for greater sustainability and an improved global presence. "With close to 150 million litres of wine available from this vintage, the opportunity to extend our position in new and existing markets is greater than ever, although supply constraints in key varieties will restrict growth in the year ahead,"​ he stated. Smith added that he was already confident the industry was prepared for the challenges ahead. "We are well positioned to take advantage of emerging international marketing opportunities, while responding to challenges such as labour shortages and sensitivities around environmental issues,"​ he added. "We are building on our long-term commitments to sustainability, quality and our world-class marketing programme." ​ Smith believes that producers in the country are on track to achieve NZ$2bn (€1bn) in exports sales by 2015, if these aims are met.

Related topics: Markets, Oceania, Industry growth, Beverages

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