7 Sep 2011

Wine industry survey highlights high dollar threat

7:35 am on 7 September 2011

A wine industry survey has identified the exchange rate as the biggest threat to its recovery from the down-turn of the past two years.

The Markhams accountancy group conducts a national wine business confidence survey twice a year.

In the lastest survey, 90% of grape growers and wineries surveyed were confident of trading conditions improving over the next 12 months.

But Markhams' national wine spokesperson Hamish Pringle says growers are also concerned about the continuing pressure on profit margins, and for exporters the major contributer is the high New Zealand dollar.

He says the high exchange rate is making it difficult to compete and is further reducing the price that New Zealand wholesalers are achieving.

Mr Pringle says a 328,000-tonne harvest is expected this year and the industry is quite confident it will move most of that, so at least there won't be a wine surplus.