New Zealand’s wine exports surge

Not only are international consumers reaching for New Zealand’s wines, but a new free trade agreement promises to fuel growth further.

Photo by Paula May on Unsplash
Photo by Paula May on Unsplash

New Zealand’s wine exports rocketed ahead in 2019, rising by 8%, with total wine exports now reaching NZ$1.86bn ($1.16bn) in value.

“Achieving yet another record level of wine exports is an outstanding achievement for New Zealand wine exports, and demonstrates the rising global demand for our unique and sustainable wines,” said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.

According to the organisation’s Annual Report, the booming sales came despite the producing area declining slightly, and the number of wineries increasing. Domestic sales were down as well.

The top export market remains the USA, with sales of NZ$557m – with wines achieving an average of  NZ$7.31 ($4.73) per litre. The UK was in second place with sales of NZ$446.6m, and Australia came third with NZ$367.7m.

The future looks bright for the country, as CPTPP Agreement finally came into force at the end of 2018. The tongue-twisting Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership is a free trade agreement, in force for seven of its 11 signatories. This agreement has given New Zealand its first ever free trade agreement with Canada and Japan, and its effect is to reduce tariffs on wine.

Last year was also the 200th anniversary of the planting of 100 grape vines by Reverend Samuel Marsden at Kerikeri Basin.

“New Zealand promises to be very favourable to the vine, as far as I can judge at present of the nature of the soil and climate,” he wrote in his diary. “Should the vine succeed, it will prove of vast importance in this part of the globe.”

New Zealand now exports wine to more than 100 countries, and wine represents its seventh biggest export good.

This article was updated on 18/2/20 with correct international export figures. Our original figures were missing some zeros - the mistake was ours.

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