Australian wine exports to Germany have grown solidly from 37 million litres valued at $49 million in 2016–17 to 40 million litres valued at $59 million in 2017–18, a wine report indicates.
According to the Global Trade Atlas, in 2017–18, Italy was the biggest imported wine category by volume with a 35 per cent share, followed by Spain at 26 per cent, France at 15 per cent, South Africa at 6 per cent, and Australia at 3 per cent.
Australia overtook Chile in 2017–18.
Germany is the world’s biggest imported wine market and fourth biggest wine market overall.
It is Australia’s fifth largest export destination by volume and eighth by value.
The lower value ranking is principally due to the way in which wine is shipped from Australia to Germany – 85 per cent is shipped in bulk containers to be packaged in-market.
There were 20 bulk wine exporters and 105 bottled wine exporters to Germany in 2017–18.
The growth in the last 12 months has come through increased bulk shipments, up 11 per cent to 34 million litres, while bottled exports declined by 9 per cent to 6 million litres.
Driving the growth in bottled exports at $5 or more was Riesling and Chardonnay, which more than offset declines in Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
While Germany is a stable and mature market, new opportunities are being created in the German wine market by increasing involvement and greater consumer openness to experiment with new and different styles of wine.
The adult population in Germany in 2017 totalled 66.2 million people.
According to Wine Intelligence, of these, 44.2m drink wine at least once a year, 27.5m drink at least once a month and 19.5m drink wine weekly.
The International Wine and Spirit Record (IWSR), reported that in 2017 there were 276 million cases of wine sold in Germany, of which 51 per cent were imported wines.
The German market is price conscious with 71 per cent of still wine sales at the low-end of the market at less than $5 per bottle.
Premium to prestige wine sales, at $12 per bottle and above, represent 2.5 per cent of the still wine sales.
In 2017, there were declines at the bottom and top-end of the market.
Sales below $5 per bottle declined by 0.3 per cent, while sales above $24 per bottle fell by 1.9 per cent.
There was growth at the mid-range and premium price segments. Sales between about $5 and about $24 per bottle increased by 0.5 per cent.
The price profile of the German market reflects where Germans buy their wines.
Wine Intelligence reports that 58 per cent of regular wine drinkers purchased wine in a supermarket such as Rewe or Edeka, 45 per cent in a discounter such as Aldi or Lidl, and 43 per cent in a hyper-market such as Kaufland and Marktkauf.
In comparison, 32 per cent purchased wine from a specialist wine store.
Still red wine is the biggest category in the German market just ahead of still white wine.
However, while red wine sales declined by 1 per cent, white wine sales increased by 1 per cent.
Champagne is the fastest growing category with sales up 2.7 per cent, but it has only a 0.4 per cent share of the market.
But, other sparkling wine is the third biggest category in the German market, with a large proportion taken up by the locally made Sekt.
Wine Intelligence research indicates there has been a significant increase in regular wine drinkers in Germany who ‘enjoy trying new and different styles of wine’, particularly among younger consumers.
A growing number of German consumers think their choice of wine is an important decision, suggesting that they are becoming more involved with wine.