The value of exports from the wine industry fell by almost five per cent last year due to a strong dollar, trade wars and competition from other markets, the Wine Institute has said.
According to its most recent data, exports of the alcoholic beverage dropped to their lowest levels since 2012, with the volume of exports to China and Japan falling by double-digit percentages.
Indeed, the value of wine being sent to China fell by almost 25 per cent in 2018, after import taxes and tariffs on American wine entering the mainland reached nearly 80 per cent.
US wine exports to Japan declined by 22 per cent in volume terms, while exports to the European Union also fell by 15 per cent.
The Wine Institute partly blamed "competition from foreign wine producers, who are heavily subsidised by their governments and benefiting from free trade agreements in key markets" for the downturn, but said the US/Chinese trade war has also taken a heavy toll.
The group said exports to Hong Kong being up by ten per cent and a solid performance by Californian wine proved to be bright spots in an otherwise gloomy report.
China is likely to have replaced some of its US wine purchases with Australian offerings, after it reduced import tariffs on goods coming from the Antipodean nation to zero as part of a new free trade agreement.