A surge in home drinking helped boost the value of New Zealand wine exports to $ 2 billion for the first time by New Zealand Winegrowers Show.
Ten years ago, the industry association predicted that wine exports would double and reach $ 2 billion in 2020.
Data for the 12 months to October 2020 show that the forecast was on the money – despite sometimes challenging vintages, recessions and the current Covid 19 pandemic.
Clive Jones, chairman of NZ Winegrowers, said the milestone strengthened New Zealand’s reputation for distinctive, premium and sustainable wines.
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Exports in the first four months of the new export year – July to October – rose 19 percent compared to the same point in time in 2019, he said.
New Zealand is either the highest or second highest priced wine category in the US, UK, Canada and China.
Jones said he was « optimistic » that the demand for New Zealand wine will continue to grow in the coming year.
Sauvignon Blanc remains New Zealand’s flagship export, but consumers are keen to try other varieties, with Pinot Noir being the second most exported variety and rosé and Pinot Gris becoming increasingly popular, Jones said.
Covid-19 has had mixed effects on the industry as rising production costs and possible labor shortages put pressure on it, but exports to key international markets rose « above expectations ». .
“On the other hand, wine companies that primarily sell through on-premise and wine tourism have faced significant challenges. Fortunately, in the domestic market, we’re seeing people continue to buy and support local products, ”said Jones.
« After the industry survived the 2020 harvest during the stage 4 lockdown, we planned a worst-case scenario.
“Instead, we saw that while the world changed in 2020, it hasn’t changed, that people love New Zealand wine. ”
In its most recent quarterly wine report, Rabobank said global demand for New Zealand wine has continued to grow despite the pandemic, geopolitical tensions and rising tariffs hitting exports in most key regions.
RaboResearch’s wine analyst Hayden Higgins said New Zealand producers have benefited from increased home wine consumption and fueled strong retail demand in key markets.
« The rise in domestic wine consumption as a result of Covid-19 supports an increase in mass exports of wine, particularly to the UK and Europe, » he said.
The bulk buying trend has also benefited New Zealand in the United States, its largest wine export market, where kiwi wine sales rose 20 percent by value and 8 percent by volume in the first half of the year.
Wine, Export, New Zealand Winemakers, Winemaking
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