27 Apr 2018

NZ wine exports to US grow as global prices rise

12:23 pm on 27 April 2018

It has been a big year for New Zealand wine exports into the United States and it is part of a larger growth globally in the sale of wine particularly into emerging markets.

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New Zealand red and white wine. (file photo) Photo: Supplied

The latest Global Wine quarterly report from Robobank said the supply of wine was fairly tight in 2017, driven largely by a tighter harvest out of Europe.

Rabobank senior wine analyst Hayden Higgins said that put pressure on global wine flows, which meant an increase in prices.

He said New Zealand wine exports to the US was a growing market for this country.

"There has been a 5 percent rise in volume and a 6 percent rise in value which has mainly been a faster growth of bottled wine imports rather than bulk into that market."

Mr Higgins said the total value of US imports of New Zealand wine was higher than for Australian wine, despite Australia sending about two-thirds higher volume.

"That is effectively reflecting we have got a larger proportion of bottled wine going into that market."

He said Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc had been a great lead into the US market.

"It fits really well in the $US10 to $US15 category and it's a new style and it's fresh and it's really attractive to the consumer there."

"It's been a great opportunity for New Zealand wine companies to establish themselves in the US," he said.

Packaging trends for wine were also changing, with emerging markets happy to accept wine in cans, casks and bladders.

Mr Higgins said this was reflected at the world's leading wine and spirits trade fair, ProWein 2018 held in Dusseldorf, Germany recently.

Although consumers in New Zealand and old-world markets tended to favour wine in a bottle, new markets - particularly in the United States - had less of a preference for them.

He said the exception was China, where bottles are preferred.

"If you tried to sell a premium wine in a can in China you would find it very difficult, but consumers in America are happy to try a more premium type product in a different delivery method."

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