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Andrew Jefford, wine writer for Decanter magazine, writes about the Wine Economics Research Centre’s recent release, Global Wine Markets, 1961 to 2009, A Statistical Compendium in an article entitled: “Jefford on Monday: All The Figures That’s Fit To Print“.

Jefford picks out juicy snippets from the burgeoning compendium, making you want to delve deeper and questioning your assumptions about the shape of the world wine market.

Full information on the compendium is freely available in pdf or Excel format by chapter here.

The full pdf is free to download from the University of Adelaide Press and you may also order the hard copy for just AUD35.00.


On 8 June 2011 Professor Kym Anderson of the Wine Economics Research Centre spoke to the Barossa Next Crop Leadership Program at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide about Australia’s evolving role in the world’s wine markets. He outlined the main challenges to Australia’s wine industry today – falling winery profits, falling winegrape prices, rising bulk wine exports as a share of the total, and rising imports of wine as a share of domestic sales. He provides great insight into the underlying reasons and looks at the potential for this industry going forward.

Rounding off his presentation, the take-away messages were:

*      Boom/bust/slow-recovery cycles are normal for the wine industry

*      But the present one involved a more sudden and severe downturn than expected due to rapid acreage expansion in previous 15 years plus drought, and then GFC, strong A$, strengthened competition from other wine-exporting countries

*      Vine-grubbing in Australia and the EU is easing the over-supply, and growth in Asian wine imports is boosting demand

*      Climate change may require vignerons to alter their varietal mix and/or moving to higher latitudes and altitudes

*      If Australia switched to volumetric wine tax, expect quality upgrading

*      but climate change & tax change will hurt irrigated areas most, as is greater competition from lower-cost exporting countries

*      Foreign investment could put a floor on vineyard and winery asset values in Australia

*      More investment in innovation is vital (R&D and promotion)

This comprehensive compendium of global wine statistics produced by Professor Kym Anderson, Executive Director of the Wine Economics Research Centre and Signe Nelgen of the School of Economics, University of Adelaide, revises and updates previous editions and expands on the range of data provided. As Professor Orley Ashenfelter of Princeton University and founder/author/publisher of the newsletter Liquid Assets says, “The authors have revised and expanded what was already an indispensable compendium to another, even higher level.”

Key trends
Until very recently, most grape-based wine was consumed close to where it was produced, which was mostly in Europe. Barely one-eighth of the world’s wine production was exported prior to the 1980s, even counting intra-European trade. The latest wave of globalization has changed that forever. Now more than one-third of all wine consumed is produced in another country, and Europe’s dominance of global wine trade has been diminished by the surge of exports from ‘New World’ producers. New consumers have also come onto the scene as incomes have grown, eating habits have changed, and tastes have broadened. Asia in particular is emerging as a new and rapidly growing market for grape-based wine – and in China that is stimulating the development of local modern production capability which, in volume terms, already rivals that of Argentina, Australia and South Africa.

Kym Anderson and Signe Nelgen’s data track the astonishing changes undergone by the wine world over the last half-century in meticulous detail. This volume should be an essential download for everyone researching, studying or writing about wine.” So says Andrew Jefford, wine writer for Decanter, author of The New France, and Australian Wine Writer in Residence at the University of Adelaide during 2010.

The most detailed version to date
This latest edition of global wine statistics not only revises and updates data to 2009, but also expands on earlier editions in a number of ways. For example, we separately identify an extra eight Asian countries or customs areas (Hong Kong, India, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand) in addition to China and Japan. We also include more than 50 new tables to cover such items as: excise and import taxes; retail expenditure on wine per capita and per adult and as a percent of national income; the share of domestic sales in off-trade; the shares of the largest firms in national markets and globally; the most powerful wine brands globally; and the shares of different winegrape varieties in national and global production. Given the growing interest in the health aspects of alcohol consumption, we also show volumes consumed per adult as well as per capita. A significant new section provides estimates of the 2009 volume, value and unit value of wine production, consumption, exports and imports for four categories: non-premium, commercial-premium, super-premium and sparkling wines.

“The ever-changing world wine market has progressively become more global and interconnected among nations. To understand these changes it is more important than ever to take a global perspective, which requires information at a global level. This newly expanded and updated statistical compendium will be useful for anyone interested in knowing about and understanding the changing patterns of wine production, consumption and trade in various parts of the world. It is also an invaluable resource for economists and others who seek to analyze those patterns and their underlying causes.”

Professor Julian Alston, Director of the Robert Mondavi Institute’s Center for Wine Economics, University of California, Davis

“The first edition of this ground-breaking book (to 2001) was an indispensible part of my reference library, its pages festooned with Post-it markers. The rate and amount of change in global wine markets since then could not have been envisioned by the authors (or anyone else), so while this is technically a revised edition, it is to all intents and purposes a new work, every bit as indispensible as the first edition.”

James Halliday, wine critic and author of the Australian Wine Companion

The pdf version may be downloaded free of charge from the University of Adelaide Press site, and a hard copy may be ordered for A$35.00 plus postage.

At the University of Adelaide’s Research Tuesday lecture on 8 March 2011, Professor Kym Anderson identified key trends in the global wine industry, using data from the forthcoming University of Adelaide publication Global wine markets 1961 to 2009: a statistical compendium, due for release in April 2011.

The focus of the presentation was to understand how the wine industry has arrived at the situation it now finds itself in, and what the prospects might be for the next two decades out to 2030.

Boom-bust cycles have been a feature of the Australian wine industry since its birth in the mid-1800s. The latest boom period is defined as the period 1987-2004 where Australia fared extremely well both domestically and overseas. Many factors were in its favour. Since then however, a number of factors have come together in a perfect storm to produce this current downswing, including a strong Australian dollar, an increasingly competitive global market, changing market and marketing conditions and consumer preferences, and climactic factors.

Professor Anderson looked at the trends in wine production, consumption and trade in the Old World, New World and ‘rest of the world’ countries, particularly since 1980. The Old World refers to France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany, and the New World refers to the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile and South Africa. An interesting summary table of developments in shares of global wine production, consumption and trade are shown in the table below.

  1980-84 2009 2009
  volume volume value
Share of global production (%)
Old World 5 58 53 50
New World 6 18 26 30
Rest of the world 34 21 20
Share of global consumption (%)
Old World 5 53 28 60
New World 6 19 21 31
Rest of the world 28 41 9
Share of global exports (%)
Old World 5 76 34 67
New World 6 2 26 24
Rest of the world 22 40 9


Professor Anderson discussed the inherent strength of the Australian wine industry and the challenges lying ahead for producers and marketers.

Listen to his presentation here and view his presentation here.

Global wine markets 1961 to 2009: a statistical compendium will be available directly from the University of Adelaide Press (pdf free; paperback $35).

Professor Anderson is the George Gollin Professor of Economics and foundation Executive Director of the Wine Economics Research Centre at the University of Adelaide.