Professor Kym Anderson gave a fascinating and informative presentation at the plenary session of the Crush 2011: The Grape and Wine Science Symposium in Adelaide, entitled ‘Wine’s globalization: New opportunities, new challenges for Australia’.

The Crush 2011 symposium, organised by the Wine Innovation Cluster, brought together top wine and grape researchers from all over Australia and overseas, from universities, research institutes, industry and government to present the latest cutting edge research, to network and to foster future collaborative opportunities. The University of Adelaide had a strong attendance, as did the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the University of South Australia, Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC), South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), and other universities and institutions around Australia and overseas. Inspiring talks were provided in the plenary session at the National Wine Centre by GWRDC Chairman Rory McEwen, Kym Anderson, John Brooks of Zork, Mark Thomas of CSIRO Plant Industry, Keren Bindon of AWRI and Rebekah Richardson of Pernod-Ricard Pacific.

Professor Anderson gave an insightful and concise summary of the challenges facing Australia’s wine industry today, essentially:

• Profits of wineries have nose-dived

• Winegrape prices fell sharply in 2009, 2010 and in 2011

• Bulk wine exports 47% in 2010-11, up from 15% 1996-2003

• Import share of domestic wine sales has risen from 3% in 2001 to 15% in 2010-11 (NZ, France, Italy)

• Volatility of weather is not expected to lessen

Trade is a huge consideration for the Australian wine industry, with 66% of our wine production exported in 2009. Meanwhile the world market for wine has got tougher with the strong Australian dollar, fashion swing away from our wine in the traditional markets (UK, US, Germany), strong competition from other global producers, oversupply of wine in Europe, the growth of supermarket power in wine sales, environmental concerns, and so on. Plus wine is being targeted in a number of countries including Australia with regard to negative health implications, including rising taxes and regulations.

However! Globalisation has a long way to go and there are huge opportunities as wine expenditure grows around the world, particularly in Asia, dominated by China. Furthermore, in terms of the average price of bottled still wine imports, five of top 10 countries globally are Asian so there are profits to be made!

The data behind Kym’s presentation are from a new compendium of global wine statistics, downloadable as a free e-book at www.adelaide.edu.au/press/titles/global-wine or in Excel format at www.adelaide.edu.au/wine-econ.

Kym Anderson is the Executive Director of the Wine Economics Research Centre, University of Adelaide, and a member of Wine2030, University of Adelaide.

Details of the Crush 2011 symposium including full programme and abstracts may be found at www.wineinnovationcluster.com/crush2011

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