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Australian Wine grapes stay to rot on the vines
Australian winegrape growers are calling for government assistance with
an oversupply of grapes that is sinking prices and leaving fruit unsold.
The crisis in the global freight sector, along with China's decision to
impose massive anti-dumping tariffs just as Australian growers
produced a large crop in 2021 are behind the glut.
The latest Wine Australia figures show exports were down 26 per cent
This has been coupled with rising input costs, which have at least
doubled in the past year due to increased disease-pressure and the cost
of chemical, fertiliser, fuel and labour.
Industry body Australian Grape and Wine said it expected difficult
commercial conditions for the next three to five years.
"It’s a tough message to deliver, but we can’t afford to stick our heads in
the sand," Australian Grape and Wine chief executive Tony Battaglene
The situation is especially dire in South Australia's Riverland, where 80
per cent of the wine produced is exported.
Riverland wine executive officer Lyndall Rowe said while interest from
south-east Asian markets had been promising, it could not absorb the
supply in the short term.
Ms Rowe said the drop in demand had led many wineries to seek
outside storage and build additional tanks.
While the region finished harvesting grapes in early May, Riverland's
CCW Co-operative chief executive Jim Godden said storage at most
wineries was full by March.
Mr Godden said he did not know how many members were out of
contract but had received numerous calls from people trying to find a
home for their grapes.
The Riverland is home to more than 900 growers but some are choosing
to get out of the game.
Real estate agent Sam Hayes from Toop Toop Rural said a number of
vineyards in the region have been listed for sale recently.
Τhere are growing concerns that wineries could cap grape deliveries for
next year, which could see the price of red grape varieties drop even
Adelaide, South Australia