China to be 6th largest producer by 2016

China is set to become the sixth largest wine producer in the world by 2016, according to the latest figures from Vinexpo.

Judy Leissner, CEO of Grace Vineyard in Shanxi

Judy Leissner, CEO of Grace Vineyard in Shanxi

The research, in collaboration with The International Wine and Spirits Research, found that by 2016 China will have risen from the 8th to the 6th largest wine producer in the world.

Vinexpo chief executive Robert Beynat welcomed the news: “I’m happy the Chinese are producing more wine. It’s like American history repeating itself.

“The more they produce, the more young Chinese wine consumers they will bring in to the category through their homegrown wine.

“The quality of Chinese wine is constantly improving and soon this will become a problem for the French, as they were the first into China but are facing increasing competition from both homegrown wines and wines from other countries keen to break into the Chinese market,” he added.

Vinexpo also predicts that China is set to become the world’s second biggest wine consumer by 2016 in terms of value sales, overtaking both France and the UK to stand behind the USA, with sales of US$16.7bn.

Turkey: the "sleeping giant" of the wine world?

Turkey: the “sleeping giant” of the wine world?

However, to balance out the increase in domestic production, wine imports into China are set to slow in the next five years.

While wine volume sales in China grew by 194.5% from 2007-2011, the forecast growth from 2012-2016 stands at a more modest 47%.

In terms of other emerging markets, Beynat revealed that Nigeria has big potential as a wine consuming country due to an ever-growing middle class.

“One of the top Champagne brands recently told me that Nigeria is emerging as one of its most important export markets,” he said, though refused to name the house.

Meanwhile, Beynat referred to Turkey as the “sleeping giant” of the wine world, though warned that religion could pose a barrier to sales success in the country.

He also said that on-trade wine and spirits sales were “exploding” in Japan.

In terms of global spirits sales across the 10-year period of 2007-2016, Vinexpo predicts volume sales to be up 49% by 2016 and value sales to be up 83.7%.

While vodka remains the world’s number one spirit in both volume and value sales, the consumption of Chinese white spirit Baijiu is rapidly increasing.

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