Rabobank Global Wine Quarterly Q4 2016: Red Dawn? Behind the Rise in Australian Wine Grape Prices

Australia takes the pulse of wine grape markets, while the Northern Hemisphere harvest appears set to fall on the short side, and China headlines developments in global wine trade, according to Rabobank’s Global Wine Quarterly for Q4 2016.

The Australian wine grape industry has experienced a ‘red dawn’, with prices rising from their 2011 lows, particularly for red wine grape varieties sourced from more premium growing regions. Rabobank senior analyst Marc Soccio says: “Life has returned to Australian wine grape prices, with China driving much of the recovery in market conditions.”

Highlighting the key role of the China/Hong Kong market in Australia’s wine grape price recovery, the performance of the Chinese market remains a key barometer of future red wine grape market condition. The premiumisation trend in other major markets is also a factor, namely in Australia’s domestic market, as well as in the US and Canada.

Overall this has led to a marked shift in demand for red varietals from premium temperate climate regions such as the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Coonawarra, and premium cool climate regions such as the Mornington Peninsula and Tasmania, especially relative to fruit from more commercial warm inland regions.

“Fortunately, most of the market developments that saw wine grape prices bottom out in 2011 are no longer at play, including the high Australian dollar, and we are starting to see sentiment in the industry recover from a time when the national average wine grape price more than halved, to AUD 413/tonne”, according to Mr. Soccio.

Other highlights include:

Global wine exports
Export volumes are flat or down for many of the major wine-producing countries around the world. This trend is set to continue into next year as global production falls back, and countries will have worked through any stock overhangs from 2015.

Global wine supply
The Northern Hemisphere harvest looks set to come in below last year’s levels across Europe’s big three, on top of a particularly light Southern Hemisphere harvest.

China wine imports
The rebound in imports into the Chinese market continues to deliver attractive growth for many of the world’s major wine exporters in 1H 2016.

For more information, please contact the report’s authors:
Stephen Rannekleiv: stephen.rannekleiv@rabobank.com, +1 212 808 6823
Marc Soccio: marc.soccio@rabobank.com, +61 2 8115 2446

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