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Austrian Wines Gain World popularity

Posted: Monday, 19 September 2011 13:33

Austrian Wines Gain World popularity

Sep 19 : Although Austrian wines still have low presence in India, they are fast gaining popularity in the world yielding higher values, with the USA showing an increase of 14.3 %, Netherlands by 22 % and Sweden a whopping 50 percent % during the first half of the year 2011 with an increase in value even in the neighbouring Germany by 2% and Switzerland where the volume has gone down, possibly because of reduced yields of 40% last year.

According to the figures released by Statistics Austria, there was an increase of 2% of export in Value. The increase in volume of sales was much less or even slightly negative to many countries. This has been attributed to the reduced harvest last year resulting in yields lower by 40%. There was a decrease in export quantity of wine by 28 % by volume. However, there was an average increase of 4% in the export of Austrian wines to the US in terms of value, in this period.

Higher Average Prices

After exports nosedived by 80% après the infamous scandal of 1985 when a few winemakers sweetened their wines by using illegal substances, the wine making laws in Austria  were made very strict resulting in the revival of Austrian wines and gradual but steady increase in demand and  the average export price; today Austrian wines are popular throughout the world – especially the Grϋner Veltliner, Rieslings, sweet wines and Zweigelt red wines, resulting in increase in demand in general, the last year’s lower volume due to reduced availability notwithstanding .

The average price of wine exported from Austria was € 0.81 Euros per liter in 2003. It has been steadily rising and from €1.88 Euros last year it went up to € 2.65 Euros during the corresponding period this year. (This could be an eye opener for producers in India who seem to have pinned their hopes and optimism on getting higher export prices because of the increasing number of Indians living abroad, who they feel are starved for Indian wine at any price. Of course, the big increase in Austrian wine prices may also have occurred due to supply shortage last year.

Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) which promotes Austrian wines for export is cautiously optimistic about future targets and reading the trends. ‘Our goal is to move Austrian wine away from the downward spiral of low wine prices and aim for an average price of €3 a liter, in the long term’, says a pleased Willi Klinger,  Managing Director of AWMB.

Export of Better Quality Wines

The impressive sales result is being attributed to a surge insales of high quality wine in the mid-range and premium pricecategories. There has been a continuous shift away from bulk and low- end wines. Austria was forced to deal with an excessive surplus of wine until 2005, according to the report. In 2003, approximately 83 million liters of wine were exported (more than 5 times the total consumption in India last year), including over 60 million liters of bulk wine and  23 million liters of wine in bottles. During the current period of the first six months of 2011, the volume of bulk wine exported was reduced to less than 4 million liters, while the volume of wine exported in bottles being 20 million liters.

Austrians are pleasantly surprised by the findings of this report which shows Austria has succeeded in maintaining its export record from 2010, despite a notable reduction in the amount of wine available to sell. Meanwhile, Indian producers may take a moment to reflect on this price-quality scenario while planning their export strategies.


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