1329.0 - Australian Wine and Grape Industry, 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/01/2005   
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January 27, 2005
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Fruitful year for the wine industry

Wine producers had their best year ever in 2003-04 with a bumper grape harvest eclipsing the previous 2002 record, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The record grape harvest of 2.015 million tonnes was over a third higher (35%) than the drought affected previous year and exceeded the 2002 previous high of 1.754 million tonnes.

The red grape crush benefited the most from the good seasonal conditions in 2003-04, with an increased crush of 38% (to 1.141 million tonnes). In comparison the white grape crush increased 35% (to 0.777 million tonnes).

The vintage grape crush reached a new record being well over a third higher (37%, up to 1.917 million tonnes) than the previous year and almost a fifth higher (19%) than the record set in 2002.

Winemakers increased beverage wine production by over a third (35%) to a record 1,401 million litres. Table wine inventories rose by almost a fifth (18%) to 1,698 million litres at 30 June 2004.

Domestic sales of wine maintained steady growth rising 4% on the previous year to 417 million litres.

Sales of white wine topped sales of red/rosť table wine again by well over a half (59%) of the domestic table wine market.

Overseas exports of Australian produced wine increased 13% on the previous year (584 million litres) with a total value of $2,494 million. However, the average price per litre fell 9% to $4.27 (down from $4.67 in 2002-03).

The United Kingdom was the main country of destination for exports of Australian wine, taking 225 million litres (38%), followed by the United States of America at 175 million litres (30%). Other major markets included Canada (33 million litres), Germany (28 million litres) and New Zealand (27 million litres). In terms of the value of exports, the US market was the most lucrative at $874 million while the UK was $849 million.

Further information is in Australian Wine and Grape Industry, 2004 (cat. no. 1329.0)