Global trade in wine picked up in 2015, thanks to demand from the Chinese and US markets, as the New Zealand wine industry moved further along its impressive growth path, Rabobank said in a report.
“As we look ahead to the 2016 vintage, the NZ wine industry has just posted another strong year of export growth in 2015,” Rabobank beverage analyst Marc Soccio said.
“There’s good scope for further growth, but it is not as widely distributed across the industry as it once was, with smaller wine companies struggling to keep pace,” he added.
The report said that a number of wine countries recorded strong increases in export volumes in 2015, but the corresponding movement in average export prices was far less uniform. The boost to import competitiveness in the US market helped to support trade, as did the strong rebound in import demand in the Chinese market.
Early indications of the Southern Hemisphere harvest in 2016 point towards a lighter crop, with Chile, Argentina and South Africa facing significant falls in production, the report said, adding that production in Australia and New Zealand looked more in line with historical average levels.
US wine imports continued to grow in 2015, assisted by the stronger US dollar. Total imports rose 5 percent by volume and 2 percent by value, the report said, adding that bottled wines from more premium suppliers (especially Italy, France and New Zealand) continued to grow strongly, while bulk wine import volumes were generally soft, down 4 percent year on year.