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Consumer demand sees China’s wine imports up by nearly 20%

A further sign that China’s middle classes are opening up to wine is that the latest wine import figures that showed there was an impressive near 20%  jump to US$1.77 billion in the first nine months of this year, according to latest figures from the China Association for Imports and Exports of Wines and Spirits.

The volume of imports also increased by over 14% to over 464 million litres from January to September, said the official national trade association.

Bottled wine imports which dominate the market to China came to approximately US$1.65m, a year on year increase of over 20%, and accounted for over 93% of all imported wines.

And in volume terms, the country imported more than 354 million litres of bottled wine, a 19% increase compared with the same time last year.

Bulk wine imports, meanwhile, grew by over 9% to US$99.8 million, while sparkling wines saw a decline in both volume and value.

“The consistently strong performance of bottled wine imports proved their continued recognition and popularity among customers,” said the Association.

France and Australia between them accounted for 70% of all the bottled wines imported by China based on imported value. France took the lion’s share with US$805 million, accounting for nearly 45%, while Australia accounts for 25%.

These two countries are followed by Chile, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Argentina, New Zealand, Portugal, Germany, Georgia and Canada.

New Zealand came top in terms of average wine prices, at US$9.66 per litre, followed by Australia at US$7.14 per litre.

Wines from Spain had the lowest average price at US$2 per litres, according to the figures.

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