drinks yearbook | 13 The summer of 2009/10 was ushered in with changes of leadership at both federal and state level. In Canberra, Tony Abbot took leadership of the Liberal Party after beating Malcolm Turnbull by just one vote. Within days in New South Wales, the Labor Party, emerging from one debacle after the next, appointed Kristina Keneally as the 42nd Premier of NSW, and the fi rst female to hold the position. While much of 2009 had been centred around the global fi nancial crisis, as we headed into a new year, there was a sense in Australia of some returned optimism. Australia, it was thought, was poised for progress, having been one of the few countries to avoid recession in 2009. Research released following Nielsen’s Onilne Consumer Survey in January 2010, which tracked sentiment among 17,500 internet users in 29 different markets, showed that during December 2009, confi dence levels were high and our perception of local job prospects were the strongest among OECD countries. The survey results also showed that Australian confi dence levels remained buoyant – at 107 points (20 points above the global average of 87). Throughout the industry, there was a lot of noise around a potential merger to take place between Australian Vintage Limited and Constellation Wines. An announcement was thought to take place in summer but it was not until later months that there was more clarity around the situation. Also in January, Independent Liquor refuted speculation it was set to be overtaken by Woolworths Liquor, saying that while an operational overhaul was being completed, the group’s private equity owners wished to maintain ownership. While industry continued to come up with ways to tackle their obligations and commitments to social responsibility, anti-alcohol lobbyists and sentiment remained strong. New South Wales Police sent an email to hundreds of bottle shops, asking them not to sell alcohol with a higher ABV content of four per cent before 2pm on Australia Day. There continued to be discussion too around raising the legal drinking age from 18 to 21. In the Wine Export Approval Report released in December 2009, it was revealed that China had become the standout country for Australian wine exports, with the value of exports to the market increasing 77 per cent, ranking China as Australia’s fourth largest market by value but number one for value growth. Bottled exports were up 60 per cent (to A$41 million) and bulk exports were up 378 per cent (to $16 million). The US remained as our number one export market, where a 146 per cent increase in the value of bulk shipments outweighed a fi ve per cent decline in the value of bottled shipments. The rising Australian dollar throughout the year would put us at a disadvantage against other New World competitors. The problem of oversupply in this country continued.
drinks Yearbook 2010
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