Wine prices – Europe v Australia

11 thoughts on “Wine prices – Europe v Australia”

  1. JR SERISIER says:

    How many of Australia’s grape growers make a profit at the current prices they are paid?

  2. JJ says:

    Doug, your comments are spot on, do add consolidation cost in refrigerated warehouse and internal freight and suddenly you have add a very substantial cost to the overall. What is concerning is the amount of ” cheap” imports available on the market. The only way to cut corners is to non refrigerate and that should be of a concern to the consumer as the equator is a non forgiving place. Competition is healthy yet it should be on an even playing field.

  3. doug says:

    HUon. Add refrigetated transport, consolidation and packing and shipment to port then add refrigerated container shipping and insurance 5,% duty. Add 29% wet, gst 10% plus customs broking. Local port charges and transport and unpacking and warehousing this end. Then you can add importer’s margin and then retailer’s margin. Little wonder the prices are so high. Oh and then there is gross profitering by some importers. Doug

  4. Darshak says:

    This rip-off is traditional and extremely well-entrenched. Not just in wine but in most goods that we import. Shoes, Clothes, Software, Luggage. Even Jams!

    Certainly makes sense to bring 3 bottles of expensive European wines per person because the cost difference (savings) will be astronomical.

    Only downside: back breaking to have them in checked-in luggage (as one must) due to the restrictions of liquids in hand-luggage.

  5. Dave says:

    Too many middle man markups. Like everything we import.

  6. Christian says:

    I’m sure that we all really understand why these wines are so expensive here… Let’s think about it – ex cellar price for the importer is one thing, often the wines are quite well priced out of the winery too, but…

    Inland (European) freight, costs to hold at the port, sea freight (including a 6 week lead time), fuel levy, customs duty once at the Australian port (5%), often a customs hold (which gets charged), WET tax (29% the only country to pay such a tax), GST (10%) on everything, a mark up to the importer (everyone has to live), a mark up to the retailer and there’s your price.

    Fair enough if you would like to spend the time to organise the freight yourselves from the EU, but how much are you valuing your own time?

  7. Wine says:

    Does this factor in the different customs and wet charges?

  8. Rafał Kamiński says:

    Every stick has two ends.. We have the same problem in europe.. Good Shiraz from southern Australia costs triple in Europe 😉

  9. Niall says:

    Between business models and tax models, Australia is still very much a protectionist market. We pay more for Australian wine in Australia than it can be had overseas. A quick check on Amazon’s UK site shows the 2011 Dead Arm for £25 ($52 AUD), compared to $65 AUD here. Unlike a beer that can be licenced to brew locally, that wine has had to somehow meander half way across the world, and it still comes out 20% cheaper at the end.

    People often blame the GST, but the VAT rate in the UK is double the GST – 20%. Closer to the truth is to blame Wine Equalisation Tax – 29%. In Australia, the WET goes on first, and then the GST is applied. By the time the taxes all add up, it’s close to 50%, but WET is the major cause. If you take the VAT off the UK price and apply WET and GST on it, you get back to the Australian price within a few cents. Obviously shipping the wine to the UK has a cost, so the price difference isn’t purely just down to WET.

    There’s a review on the WET open at the moment, but it seems to be focused on the rebate mechanism for small producers, which is apparently being abused. From a consumer point of view, I can’t see what WET achieves, except to gouge profit for the government in a market where it’s hard to shop elsewhere.

    This is back to the protectionist argument. The UK has EU rules to keep its market (mostly) open. And worst case you can drive the car over/under the channel, fill it to the roof with wine and drive back. Australians have no such options, so we’re ripe for the taking by the government and anyone else who wants a slice. I can’t tell whether it’s producers, distributors or retailers that are also having a laugh, but the WET is the biggest laugh of the lot of them. At least everyone except the government can claim they actually put some effort into providing the end consumer with the wine.

    I had a €3 glass of Riesling at a restaurant in Alsace earlier this year. It was fantastic.

  10. wineogre says:

    The A$ drop is not the only problem. What about the cost of the temperature controlled container on the way to Oz? And ye olde Customs
    An A$100 bottle import becomes an A$141.90 proposition.
    You are almost better off flying to Europe and paying exorbitant restaurant prices to taste the wines. Another thought is to start a private consortium to buy a hotel in an unfashionable area of France/ Portugal/Italy/Greece/Spain that is under duress, for a sharp price, then retrofit with climate controlled wine storage, and then cater to the wine cognoscenti, with all the themed wine dinners, wine tastings, masterclasses etc that the market will bare, then expand to , East Asia, and South East Asia and the Pacific Rim.

  11. Lester Jesberg says:

    I agree. Sometimes it’s significantly cheaper for me to buy direct from a retailer in Europe, air freight the wine, and pay the Australian government imposts. Some importers are notorious for their massive profit margins.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *