The Riverina Wine Grapes Marketing Board has seen a “positive change” in average wine-grape prices across all varieties.
The statistics, released by Wine Australia, show great progress in farm gate returns, providing “relief” to growers.
Chief Executive Officer Brian Simpson said the “price of grapes in the region is on the move”.
“We’re seeing a lift in prices for our grape growers for the first time in years – it’s great for the Riverina,” Mr Simpson said.
“With what’s happening in the Chinese export markets, from Australia, we’re going to see continuing lifts in grape prices, which will benefit the region and our grape growers.”
All varieties have had a spike in average prices, including Shiraz with a 35.17 per cent change since 2017, jumping from $344 to $465; Cabernet Sauvignon moved 31.15 per cent, from $366 to $480; and Merlot has soared 41.98 per cent, from $324 to $460.
In total, the whites have seen an average 4.5 per cent increase, and the reds a 31.44 per cent increase.
“The last time we saw grape prices like this was in 2008.”
Mr Simpson was pleased to note there have been some new buyers in the region, which he said has been driving local competition.
And, while there has been a recent yield decline, Mr Simpson said with good water reliability the next crop should be a “nice” one.
“This next season coming – if water’s good, if the season pans out properly, and we get through this frost period – we could have a nice crop this year, and growers can start putting money in the bank.”
But, he stresses the importance of noting the region’s yield declines when looking at the figures.
“Across all varieties, the pricing went up by 19.82 per cent but because of yields from the prior year, we’re looking at about a 10 per cent rise.
The last time we saw grape prices like this was in 2008.Riverina Wine Grapes Marketing Board Chief Executive Officer Brian Simpson
“You can’t just be focused on how much they get, it’s how much they yield.”
Mr Simpson said he would like to see the markets “move up steadily”.
“It has to also move up the same time other regions are moving up, because we’ll end up out here too far and our wineries will become less competitive on the export market.”
And, what does this all mean for the people of Griffith and the Riverina?
Mr Simpson said as “prospects within the industry are good”, there will be increased spending in town “which is good for the local economy”.
“The local people have always been interested in how things are going on the land, because they know their fortunes go up and down with the land.”