China’s alcohol imports grew in 2016

3rd January, 2017 by Natalie Wang

China’s imported alcoholic beverages continued to grow in the first 11 months of last year, with spirits imports registering positive growths in both volume and value in November for the first time since March, according to figures released by China Association for Imports and Export of Wine & Spirits.

Chinese character for alcohol

Chinese character for alcohol (Photo credit: Dror Poleg via Flickr under the creative commons license)

The growth recorded in imported spirits was largely a result of its strong performance in November last year. China imported 6.19 million litres of spirits worth US$110 million that month, representing a 41.8% increase in volume and a 77.9% increase in value compared with November 2015.

Brandy, in particular, saw robust growth in both volume and value terms, and was credited for mainly driving spirits sector’s growth, according to the trade association.

In total, China imported 51.82 million litres of spirits worth about US$756.53m from January to November 2016, a 0.42% increase in volume and 1.21% jump in value compared with the same period in 2015.

The country’s wine imports were similarly robust. Total imports amounted to 567.5m litres worth about US$2.12 billion, with bottled wine imports leading the pack, followed by bulk wines and sparkling wines.

The country imported US$1.97bn worth of bottled wines, a year-on-year increase of 18.3%. Its bulk wine imports grew by 13.13% in value to US$96.4m, while its sparkling wine imports dropped by 9.47% in value year-on-year to US$51.24m in the first 11 months of last year.

In terms of the origins of importing countries for bottled wines, France, Australia and Chile clinched the top three spots, accounting for 80% of the total value for all bottled wine imports in China, followed by Spain, Italy, the US, South Africa, Argentina, New Zealand, Portugal, Germany, Georgia and Canada.

Georgia, among all the countries, registered the highest growth from January to November, with a 113.28% hike in value to US$11.2m over the same period in 2015.

In the first 11 months of 2016, the country’s beer imports grew by 18.65% in volume to 598.5m litres; its total value also jumped 14.48% to US$616.5m compared with the same period in 2015. Imports from the UK grew more than 350% during the period to US$12.4m, the highest among all countries.  

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