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June01, 2015

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78 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE TOP 100 IMPORTERS AND EXPORTERS 2015 JUNE 1.2015 By Greg Knowler R AISE A GLASS to Australia, the largest exporter of wines to China and the big winner as China hoists more than a few glasses of its own. Australia, one of the world's largest wine produc- ers, saw its wine exports to China soar 20 percent in the 12 months ending in March as the Asian giant continued to shrug off austerity mea- sures imposed in 2013 as part of Beijing's corruption crackdown. Exports to China in the fiscal year grew to 44 million liters, valued at $193 million. Bulk wine exports increased 77 percent to 5 million liters, while bottled exports experienced record growth, up 15 percent to 39 million liters, according to data released by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority. A number of factors contributed to the growth, not only in China, but globally, said Andreas Clark, the AGWA's chief executive. "Certainly, the depreciating dollar has an effect, but we're also reaping benefits from the commencement of the Japanese free trade agreement, a rebound in the Chinese market from their austerity measures and improved economic condi- tions in two of our biggest export markets, the U.S. and the U.K," he said. China remains the No. 1 destination for premium Aus- tralian wines, with bottled exports exceeding $6 per liter increasing 12 percent year- over-year to 7 million liters. But the lower-priced segment boomed too, rising 25 percent year-over-year, to 24 mil- lion liters. Asia continues to be a key driver of growth, with more than half of exports in the $6-plus-per-liter segment shipped to Asian markets, up 13 percent compared to the previous year, with the average value of exports to Asia standing at $15 per liter. Clark said China remains Asia's largest wine mar- ket, but Japan also recorded strong growth, as did emerging Asian markets such as Thai- land, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines. Exports to Japan grew 20 percent to a record 11 million liters as exporters made the most of the Japan-Australia Economic Part- nership Agreement. Under JAEPA, the first of the bottled wine tariff cuts took effect on Jan. 15, and the second cut was implemented on April 1, reducing the tariff to 11.3 percent from 15 percent. The tariff on bottled wine will be elimi- nated entirely within seven years, while the tariff on bulk wines was reduced immedi- ately to zero. This zero percent tariff on bulk wine was reflected in the growth of its exports to Japan in the first three months of the calendar year, up 414 percent compared to the same period in 2014. All of Australia's Asian wine markets experienced double-digit growth in the fis- cal year. Wine exports to Thailand jumped 47 percent to a record 3.6 million liters, val- ued at US$11 million. Malaysia had record volume of 3.2 million liters, up 10 percent, as the value soared 25 percent to US$30 mil- lion. Exports to Taiwan jumped 33 percent to 1.7 million liters while value grew 66 percent to US$12 million; and exports to the Philippines rose 22 percent to 1.2 million liters, growing in value by 19 percent to US$4.4 million. JOC Contact Greg Knowler at and follow him on Twitter: @greg_knowler. No Whining Down Under Led by China, Australia's wine exports to major Asian markets are soaring

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