Tight market | Wine imports continue slide in China

Lots of buyers but this event only happens twice a year.

This summer brought no breaks for bottled wine imports in China. Stats for January to August from the Alcohol Import & Export Association show year-on-year imports fell 11.7 percent by volume to 326.6 million and 16.2 percent by value to US$1.59 billion. In August alone, the numbers fell 7.9 percent and 12.4 percent compared to last year.

Australia and France remained neck and neck for the market lead, with Australia topping France by value at US$553 million to US$487, and France leading by volume with 95.5 million liters to Australia’s 82 million, though this was more about France shipping less than Australia shipping more. Australian wine is now declared at a whopping US$6.7 per liter, led by China favorite Penfolds.

Chile continued to solidify its top-three status both by volume and value, Spain continued to outsell Italy but at a far lower price per bottle, and the United States continued to flirt with losing its long-held sixth-place spot, the current US-trade spat not helping at all.

Looking beyond bottled wine, total January-August wine imports added up to 420 million liters worth USD 1.69 billion, dropping 12.3 percent by volume and 16.3 percent by value.

If it’s any consolation, wine was not alone, as beer imports have also seen falls of 11.9 percent by volume and 9.9 percent by value. Liquor has been the winner this year, up 33 percent by volume and 14.8 percent by value.

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