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Bottled Australian Wine Exports To U.S. Slip As Bulk Volume Surges

July 12, 2012

Bulk exports of Australian wine to the U.S. rose 52% to 74 million liters for the 12 months through June 30, according to trade group Wine Australia. Average prices in the bulk sector were above A$1($1.01) a liter, an improvement on the previous year when Australian bulk export prices averaged under A$1 a liter. Bottled exports to the U.S., meanwhile, declined 11% to 117 million liters in the same period, as Australian exporters increasingly chose to ship wine in bulk and bottle it in-market.

The bulk surge to the U.S. may be getting a boost from The Wine Group’s purchase of Australia’s 100,000-ton Loxton winery, a deal struck with Australian Vintage Ltd. last August. TWG said at the time that the purchase, which complemented its existing Griffith winery in Australia, would “provide incremental capacity to support the growth of the company’s portfolio of fast-growing Australian wine brands and expand high-quality Australian bulk wine offerings to its global network of bottlers.”

TWG’s Australian brands include Fish Eye, Foxhorn and Little Roo. An Impact “Hot Brand” that rose by 19% to 1.9 million cases last year, Fish Eye is seeing “strong double-digit growth” in its 3-liter cask format, even as its 750-ml. bottle format has slowed due to price increases, TWG CEO David Kent tells Shanken News Daily.

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