The New Zealand wine sector is undergoing a growth spurt, with sales of Kiwi wine to the US exceeding Australian wine sales to the US for the first time.
According to Rabobank’s latest Wine Quarterly report, the volume of Australian wine shipped to the US dropped by 11 per cent last quarter. But there was a significant 14 per cent rise in sales volumes of New Zealand wine.
On a dollar basis, sales of Kiwi wines to the US tipped US$399.8 million, with 7.3 million cases of Kiwi wine headed to the States. In contrast, sales of Aussie wines were just $351.7 million, with 16.7 million cases of Aussie wine sent to the US.
So not only is New Zealand sending less Kiwi wine to the US than Australia, the average bottle price is more than twice the price for the Kiwi product.
Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers, said in a statement there is substantial potential to capitalise on recent strong sales to the US.
“New Zealand wine, especially sauvignon blanc, is very popular in the US and we expect consumer demand to continue to grow,” says Gregan.
“The new record level of wine exports into the world’s largest and most competitive market is an outstanding achievement for New Zealand wine exporters and testifies to the strong global demand for our wines,” he adds.
Statistics New Zealand’s figures also show Kiwi total annual wine exports hit a new record of $1.63 billion for the year to 31 March 2017. As a result, by value, wine is now New Zealand’s fifth largest export.
Now is the perfect time for vintners to take advantage of the demand in the US, as it won’t be long before Australian wineries step up and attempt to reclaim their number one position.