Australia's wine sales were down in 2019-2020. As shown by Wine Australia's annual Wine Production, Sales and Inventory Report 2020, total sales of Australian wine in the period were just over 1.2 billion litres (136 million 9-litre cases), a decline of six percent compared to 2018-19, with 40 percent sold in the domestic market and 60 percent going overseas. Domestic sales were thus down one percent, while exports were down nine percent.
In contrast, total Australian wine production was around 1.1 billion litres (121 million 9-litre cases). This corresponds to a decline of nine percent compared to the same period last year. Sales exceeded the volume produced by 60 million litres and thus exceeded production for the third year in a row, reducing stocks and stabilising grape prices. Australian wine stocks are estimated at 1.7 billion litres as of 30 June 2020, down four percent year-on-year.
Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said this was not unexpected as the 2020 crop was the lowest since 2007 at 1.52 million tonnes. Although quality was generally high in 2020, it was a challenging vintage, with drought conditions affecting large parts of Australia and bushfires affecting a small number of wine regions," Clark said.
He noted that COVID-19 does not appear to have had a significant impact on overall sales volumes during the reporting period. However, he notes that the report period preceded the imposition of interim tariffs on bottled wine exports to China that were introduced in November 2020, with a significant impact on exports to that market.