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Austrian Wine Exports for First Half of 2009: Crisis-proof

Austrian Wine © ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA

© ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA

September 24, 2009

 10% Rise in Volume; Earnings Remained Stable

Austrian wine has been holding its ground surprisingly well during these
difficult economic times. In the first half of this year, the record
level of export earnings achieved in the previous year remained
practically unchanged (-1.8%). Also during the first half of 2009, an
export volume increase of 10% was recorded.

"We were anticipating this development because of the big harvest in
2008," said Willi Klinger, general manager of Austrian Wine Marketing
Board. "Also, the trend towards favourably priced wines during the
economic crisis had been predicted."

Also, the development of Austrian wine exports to its most important
export market, Germany, remained extremely important. Although bottled
wine underwent a slight drop in volume (-4-5%), there was a rise in
actual value (+1.15 %). This is because Austrian wine has been
increasingly successful in German supermarkets and discount stores,
especially in the price categories between € 3 and € 6. With bulk wine
exports, there was a 30% increase in volume - yet at the same time, a 3%
drop in profit was recorded; this was due to the difficult situation of
the international bulk wine market, which has been felt domestically as
well. Overall, with the most important sales partners in Germany, there
was a 9% rise in quantities and a slight increase in value (+0.5%).

For the second main export market -- Switzerland -- the volume of bottled
wine increased by 17.7%, and bulk wine volume rose by 43 %. Bottled wine
earnings declined by 3%, while bulk wine earnings, on the other hand,
increased by nearly 8%.

"In Switzerland, we've been recording high growth rates for several
years now," Klinger explained. "And we're currently reaching a broader
customer segment through more favourably priced wines. All in all, the
average price of more than € 4 per liter is extremely positive."

For the USA, the economic crisis had an impact on Austrian wine exports
to that country during the first half of 2009. There were drops in both
volume (-9%) and value (-18%); also contributing to this decline were
the changes in the US import structure. Fortunately, at present, the US
export situation is veering upward again.

"For the Austrian wine industry overall, the export figures -
considering the economic climate - are very positive," states Klinger.
"Perhaps by the end of this year, we even may reach again the level of
record export earnings set in the previous year. In any case, there
should be a significant rise in export volume this year."

Press Information, 23 September 2009
AWMB, Susanne Staggl
Tel.: 011 43 1 503 92 67
Fax: 011 43 1 503 92 68
info@austrianwine.com
www.austrianwine.com

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