China’s wine imports continue to slideBy Natalie Wang
China’s wine imports continue to slide in the first four months of the year, signaling possible overstock in the market and a lag between consumption and imports.
The country’s bottled wine imports grew by 2.99% year-on-year in volume to 148.4 million litres from January to April, while its import value declined by 7.21% over the same period to US$693.26 million, according to figures released by China Association for Imports and Exports of Wine & Spirits.
Sparkling wine imports, however, rebounded from previous slump and climbed 18.63% in value over the same period last year to US$18.1 million.
Bulk wine is the only category that has registered robust growth with both volume and value. Its volume grew 9.33% during the period to 49.1 million litres and its value increased by a significant 39.57% to US$44.5 million.
Overall, the tepid growth in bottled wine imports, which takes up 90.8% of the country’s wine imports, brought down its overall import value to US$757.9 million, a year-on-year drop of 4.59%.
In terms of country of origin for imported bottled wines, France and Australia still account for the majority, although both experienced contractions in market shares, as noted by the Chinese trade association.
China, which has surpassed the US to become Chile’s most value wine market earlier, has proven to be bullish for the South American country. The country imported 19.49 million litres of bottled wines from Chile worth about US$71.87 million, representing a 0.32% increase in volume and a 10.61% increase in value over the same period last year, bringing its overall market share to 10.4%, only behind France (42.3%) and Australia (25.5%).
Other leading wine exporting countries to China are Spain (5.9%), Italy (5.7%), the US (2.8%), New Zealand (1.2%), Argentina (1%), South Africa (0.9%), Portugal (0.8%), Germany (0.7%), Gerogia (0.7%) and Canada (0.4%).
In terms of beer, China’s imports saw an uptick during the period, affirming domestic consumers’ growing demand for imported beer. Its total import volume for the first four months of the year arrived at 173.5 million litres, representing a year-on-year increase of 10.83%, while its value grew by 5.91% to US$178.6 million.
Germany leads the growth with 28.2% market share, followed by Holland, Mexico, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Korea, France, the UK and Russia.
In imported spirits sector, domestic market’s strong demand for brandies has spearheaded the sector’s robust growth. The country’s spirits imports totalled 18.45 million litres worth about US$262.1 million, up 10.92% in volume and 10.54% in value over the same period last year.