Press Release                  2011-09-12

Austrian Qualitätswein is now as popular as ever, both in Austria and in international markets. Despite the decrease in export quantity of wine, measured as being less than 28 percent by volume, the value of wine exports increased by 2 percent, based on figures published this time last. The average price per litre of wine increased from 1.88 Euros to 2.65 Euros. This means a decrease in the market share of Austrian wine in entry-level price categories both in Austria and abroad. On the other hand, the impressive sales result is due a surge in sales of high quality wine in the mid-range and premium price categories.

“A high quality 2011 harvest, combined with a sufficient quantity of wine, means that we can strive to make a new export record in 2012, where we can also increase volumes. Our goal is to move Austrian wine away from the downward spiral of low wine prices and aim for an average litre price of 3.- Euros in the long term“, explains Willi Klinger from the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, who is visibly pleased with the current trend.

Austria was forced to deal with an excessive surplus of wine up until 2005. For example in the year 2003, approximately 83 million litres of wine were exported to the total value of just 67 million Euros. This is equivalent to an average price of 0.81 Euros per litre. The volume of bulk wine exported was over 60 million litres, compared to just 23 million litres of wine exported in bottles. During the first six months of 2011, the volume of bulk wine exported was reduced to less than four million litres, while the volume of wine exported in bottle was 20 million litres.

Further good news has been the positive development of key export markets during the first half year of 2011: Notwithstanding a gloomy outlook initially, Austrian wine exports to Germany, its most important market, increased by 2 percent by value (at an average price of 2.29 Euros per bottle), despite experiencing limited wine availability due to the small harvest, which led to a decrease of export volume by 9 percent. Accordingly, the volume of bulk wine exports decreased from 8.3 to 2.2 million litres. Putting the sum of the figures together it results in a slight decrease in total sales in the German market to the value of four percent. In Switzerland, however, the value in sales increased by 11.4 percent, despite a decrease of 22 percent by volume. The situation in the United States is exemplary, with an increase of 4 percent by volume and 14.3 percent by value, and in Europe, the export value of Austrian wine to the Netherlands and Sweden increased by 22 percent and 50 percent(!) respectively.

In conclusion, the Austrian wine industry has succeeded in maintaining its export record from 2010, despite a notable reduction in the amount of wine available to sell; a scenario that nobody could have ever imagined prior to the publication of these half yearly figures

Austrian Wine Marketing Board

T: +43 1 503 92 67
F: +43 1 503 92 68