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Australia’s Grape Harvest Up Sharply, Additional Pricing Pressure Looms

July 1, 2013

Australia’s grape harvest is up by double-digits, threatening the upward pricing momentum the category has enjoyed recently after years of struggle. Australia’s 2013 grape harvest was up 10% from the previous year, to 1.83 million tons, according to the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA). This year’s crush is 100,000 tons above the average for the past six years, and 170,000 tons higher than 2012’s harvest.

Grape prices have also risen, up 9% to an average purchase price of A$499 ($458) per ton, though the WFA pointed out that higher prices could be difficult to sustain next year, given Australia’s existing wine glut and a slump in global demand.

Consequently, the trade group warned that the 2013 harvest will likely lead to additional pricing pressure for Australia’s wine segment, as well as increased bulk wine exports. Overall, Australian wine exports to the U.S. rose 8.5% to 194 million liters in 2012, but slipped 5.4% by value to A$451 million ($461m), according to the Wine Australia trade group.

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