New Price Transparency Measures In Place for Wine Producers

“This tool will provide growers with relevant and easily accessible market information,” Agriculture Minister Watt said.
New Price Transparency Measures In Place for Wine Producers
Bottles of wine from Clear Lake Wineries, an export operation of Ontario wines to China. (Courtesy Mary Whittle)

A new interactive price indicator panel to boost price transparency in the winegrape industry will deliver more benefits to both producers and consumers.

Minister for Agriculture Murray Watt officially launched the new interactive Grape Price Indicators dashboard on Oct. 12 during a speech at the Rural Press Club of Victoria.

Mr. Watt said he was pleased to see the effort from both the government and industry in developing a tool for commercial grape growers to see changes in the market.

“This tool will provide growers with relevant and easily accessible market information, helping to redress the power imbalances that have traditionally existed in the winegrape and other perishable-goods supply chains,” Minister Watt said.

The new user-friendly dashboard, which has 21 charts in a clear display layout and 12 different data sources together, including a digital online analytics platform, will assist growers with a clear future direction of commercial grape prices, eliminating price transparency concerns.

Assisted by the federal government with a $1 million investment and later delivered by Wine Australia, this new dashboard will be overseen by a consortium that includes Australian Grape and Wine, The Inland Wine Regions Alliance, and Wine Australia.

Martin Cole, CEO of Wine Australia, said that the design is an example of good collaboration.

“Co-design with the sector has been key to the successful outcome of this project.

“The consortium will now work with grape growers across the sector, so everyone is best placed to begin using it,” Mr. Cole said.

China Market Beckons, But Rough Waters Still Beckon

Australian wine companies and grape growers are positive about their future market prospects after Beijing removed tariffs on Australian barley two months ago, with hopes wine tariffs could also be removed.

Yet some experts think that even if Beijing lifts its tariffs and wine consumption in China recovers to previous levels, Australia’s wine industry will need at least two years to work through its surplus stock, as the curbs had coincided with an exceptional growing season.

Since 2000, Australian wine exports have collapsed by 33 percent, resulting in a huge oversupply of 2 billion litres, which could fill the size of nearly 860 Olympic swimming pools.

(Greg Wood/AFP via Getty Images)
(Greg Wood/AFP via Getty Images)

The other challenge facing exporters is the softening appetite for wine in China—triggered by the pandemic—so even if the political situation changes, current oversupplies will take time to be resolved. Diversifying the market into Europe, the United States, and other Asian countries has helped but requires time.

Currently, the Chinese market only accounts for $8.1 million of sales in the year to June 2023, prior to the tariffs the market accounted for 40 percent of exports, with a $898 million in value.

Australia’s wine producers are now preparing to target India—a market estimated to be worth $24 billion.

This follows successful talks held at the Australia-India Joint Dialogue in New Delhi between Australian and Indian wine sector representatives.