Mouse eats into wine exports

GREG NINNESS
Last updated 14:41 26/02/2014

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Rural lender Rabobank has admitted it got its figures wrong in a report about this country's wine exports.

This month's Rabobank Wine Quarterly report, which covers international wine trends and is widely circulated within the wine industry, stated the value of New Zealand's wine exports in the 10 months to October last year were 2.9 per cent ahead of the same period in 2012, with the volume up 10.3 per cent.

That gave the impression New Zealand was exporting more wine, but winemakers were on average getting less per litre for it.

The report caused confusion within the industry because Statistics New Zealand's trade figures showed wine export volumes were down in the 10 months to August, suggesting winemakers were actually receiving more per litre of exports, not less as the Rabobank report implied.

Rabobank has now admitted it got its export volume numbers wrong.

Rabobank senior analyst Marc Soccio said "a slip of the mouse" when compiling the figures meant the Wine Quarterly Report compared export volume figures for 11 months of 2013 with 10 months of 2012.

The correct figures should have shown export volumes for the 10 months to October declined by 1.2 per cent compared to the corresponding period of 2012.

"I apologise for the confusion," Soccio said.

"The true change in volume is down. It was our error."

However there has been a turnaround in wine exports since then, with export volumes rising towards the end of last year, thanks to the greater volume of wine produced from last year's record vintage.

NZ Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said wine export volumes and values were both now rising and he expected that trend to continue over the next six months.

At this stage the outlook for this year's vintage also looked promising.

"It's been a great growing season," Gregan said.

"In terms of ripening, the weather's been great over the last month, so it's looking good."

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- Fairfax Media

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