New data highlights a disappointing last year for Australian winemakers and exporters.

The total value of Australian wine exports declined 4 percent in 2022 to $1.94 billion Australian dollars (over $1.3 billion USD), according to the report from the government advisory group Wine Australia. While the value of exported wine dropped, the 13-page document states that total volume increased by 1 percent to a total of 623 million liters.

The annual Wine Export Report attributes a portion of this decrease to political changes in the United Kingdom. After two years of higher-than-average wine shipments to the U.K. — fueled mostly by Brexit-related uncertainties in the international wine trade and retail purchases during the height of the pandemic — exports dipped in the second half of 2022. Wine shipments to Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States also decreased last year.

“It was another tough year for Australian wine exporters, with rising inflation, business costs, and interest rates impacting margins,” Wine Australia marketing manager Paul Turale states in the release. “It is anticipated that this will continue in 2023 with many parts of the sector trying to balance short-term needs with longer-term commercial sustainability.”

On a more optimistic note, the organization notes that increased shipments to Thailand, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, and Canada, among others, helped make up for the U.K. losses. Wine Australia also states that shipping delays and supply chain issues seem to be easing, setting up a better outlook for the next year.

Australian exporters also expanded networks last year by shipping to 120 locations across the world, up from 112 in 2021. Exports to Southeast Asia and North America have also notably grown, rising by 16 and 2 percent, respectively.

Wine Australia’s news comes as the nation’s leading budget wine brand Yellow Tail was recently dethroned as the top-imported wine in the United States, per 2021 data. The brand, founded in 2001, has sold over 1.3 billion liters of wine. It was eclipsed in 2021 by Stella Rosa, a fast-rising portfolio of sweet wines produced in Italy.

As we head further into 2023, it’s expected to prove interesting how international shipments of Yellow Tail — and Australian exports, as a whole — develop in the coming months.

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