AUSTRALIA has exported more than $86 million worth of wine to China in the month following the removal of duties on bottled wine.

In that time, more than 350 Australian wine producers and businesses have re-established exports to mainland China, according to federal trade minister Don Farrell.

The Department of Trade and Tourism and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry published the figures in the joint statement on 12 June.

South Australia is the biggest exporter of wine to China, accounting for $80 million of the total export figure, or 92.1%, since duties were removed.

The federal government has hailed the results as a “great outcome” for Australian wine producers, following three years of trade disruptions such as the Chinese restrictions, as well as natural disasters and a reduction in global demand for wine.

A number of Australian industries were heavily affected by import restrictions imposed by China in 2020/21, including wine but also beef, barley, cotton, and timber amongst others.

Australian beef producers in particular had a win in May this year when China lifted the bans on a number of major beef exporters.

Since 2022 the Chinese government has progressively rolled back its restrictions against the importation of Australian products.

To address the recent struggles for the Australian wine industry, the federal, state and territory agriculture ministers recently established the Viticulture and Wine Sector Working Group, to develop a nationally coordinated approach to support the industry.

Yesterday, 12 June, the federal government announced a $3.5 million Grape and Wine Sector Long-term Viability Support package to both support the industry and as a response to the oversupply of red wine.

The government says the package aims to build demand and create new markets for Australian wine both domestically and internationally, as well as provide better data for growers to make decisions, and investigate competition and regulatory issues.

Federal minister for agriculture Murray Watt said, “I know how hard the past few years have been for wine producers across the country, so to see the successful return of this export market is fantastic for the future of the wine sector.

“But we also know there are some in the industry who are doing it tough who don’t export to China, and that’s why today we have announced this new package to support the long-term sustainability of the sector.”

The government support will aim to bolster Australia’s struggling wine industry, which saw its exports decline in both value and volume in 2023.