(March 16, 2015 )- WINE PRODUCERS REPORT RECORD EXPORT FIGURES, DESPITE HARVEST SHORTFALLS – 2014 was a very successful year for Austrian wine exports. According to the preliminary export figures from Statistik Austria, the Austrian winemakers achieved a significant increase of export earnings for the ninth consecutive year. In 2014, the export sales grew by as much as seven million Euros, representing an unprecedented record of 146 million Euros. The German-speaking countries Germany and Switzerland still remain the main export markets, but the growth rates are increasing in other markets, that were once partly less significant, such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, the USA and China. Positive growth was also seen in neighbouring markets such as Italy, Slovakia, Poland and Croatia, but also further afield in Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic countries reveal further potential for the future of Austrian wine. The growth in markets furthest away from Austria, such as Canada, Australia and Japan, confirms the success of the Austrian Wine Marketing global strategy; to aim for growth by positioning wines in higher price segments not only in some key markets, but in many countries worldwide.
Austria bids farewell to “jug wine” segment
The latest figures published for 2014 by Statistik Austria report on the success of the wine export strategy. Despite four harvest shortfalls over the past five years, the wine export figures recorded during the year 2014 display a sharp incline (+ 6% in quantity, + 5% in value). According to Statistik Austria, 50 million litres of wine were exported in 2014 to the value of a new record high of 146 million Euros. In the year 2003, by comparison, the volume of wine exported was higher at 66% (83 million litres), yet the net value was less than half at 69 million Euros. The average price per litre has climbed from 0.83 €/litre in 2003 to 2.93 €/litre in 2014. This is an impressive example of the paradigm shift that has taken place over the past decade in Austrian wine exports: a move away from cheap, jug wines, particularly in the main export market Germany, towards a global distribution with higher quality, and thus better value, wines.
Former “problem” markets record a high share of exports
Germany remains the principal export country with a 55% value share, with pleasing growth rates of five percent by volume and just under three percent value respectively. Switzerland comes in second place by volume (+ 8%) and was able to maintain its revenue of 15 million Euros last year, with a high average price per litre of 6 Euros. The United States recorded a strong increase in volume (+ 18%) and value (+ 15%), which is the result of a highly effective merchant network, following the economic decline of 2008.
Significant wine export growth was recorded in the Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and also China. These countries were once placed into the category “rest of world” in the statistics some ten years ago, and now Austrian wine is reaping the rewards. “In all these countries, we have made it through consistent efforts to build efficient distribution”, states Willi Klinger, Managing Director of Austria Wine Marketing. “These countries shall continue to grow in addition to the main export markets, and will certainly play an increasingly important role in the future. This will bring us closer towards our goal of an export value of more than 180 million Euros. It is therefore vital in the current situation to finally harvest again an above average yield of at least 250 million litres of wine”.