China’s top 10 wine importing countries in 2017
China’s thirst for imported wines continued to grow in 2017, with a total of 746 million litres of wine worth about US$2.789 billion shipped to the country. The sheer volume alone is almost double of that of 2013, indicating how the market has quickly rebounded after the market bubble bursted in 2012.
The total volume represents a 16.88% increase year-on-year, while its import value is another 17.96% jump over 2016, according to the latest data released by the Chinese General Administration of Customs.
A breakdown by geological consumption within Chinese provinces and cities showed that China’s southern Guangdong province, bordering Hong Kong and Macau, proved to be the most valuable provincial wine market with US$909 million worth of wine imported by value last year, followed by Shanghai at US$735.5 million.
Zhejiang came as a far third with US$189 million, ahead of Fujian province (US$136.3 million), Beijing (US$136.1 million), Tianjin (US$124.6 million), Shandong (US$111.6 million), Jiangsu (US$79.7 million), Liaoning (US$34.9 million) and Sichuan (US$20.1 million).
In terms of country of origin, France still dominates, but its growth rate has slowed down, especially compared with New Zealand, the US or Australia.
Click through the pages to see the top importing countries for China’s bottled wine by value.
No. 10 Argentina
Value: US$22.08 million
Volume: 5.05 million litres
Ranking by value: No. 10
Ranking by volume: No.10
The South American country’s wine shipments to China dipped 9.6% year-on-year to 5.05 million litres in 2017. Correspondingly, its value dropped by 4.5% to US$22.08 million as well, bringing down its ranking from 2016’s No. 8 to No. 10. This paints a challenging picture for the South American country (given its market share in China is only about 1%) if the downward trend continues into 2018.
No. 9 Portugal
Value: US$22.19 million
Volume: 7.7 million litres
Ranking by value: No.9
Ranking by volume: No.8
Portugal’s bottled wine exports to China increased 16.91% in 2017 to US$22.19m, an impressive growth that has lifted up its overall ranking from last year’s No. 10 to become China’s 9th biggest source for bottled imported wines by value.
No. 8 South Africa
Value: US$24.45 million
Volume: 8.1 million litres
Ranking by value: No. 8
Ranking by volume: No. 7
Overall, 2017 hasn’t been a good year for South African wines in the mainland market. Its wine exports to China dropped by 29.71% over 2016 to US$24.45 million, and its export volume saw a double digit decrease as well, decreasing by 15.48% to 8.12 million litres.
We fear the country’s exports to China are not going to pick up in 2018, as it could face the smallest crop in more than 10 years because of a persistent drought, where its harvest could plunge as much as 50%, reported Independent Online.
No. 7 New Zealand
Value: US$29.2 million
Ranking by value: No.7
Although New Zealand did not make it to China’s top 10 importer list by volume, the country’s high export value landed it as China’s 7th most valuable source for bottled imported wines. The country’s exports to China surged 39.89% to close to US$30 million during the past year.
The country has signed a Free Trade Agreement with China in 2008, and has upgraded the FTA in 2016.
The country’s total area under vine is 37,129 hectares, with Sauvignon Blanc dominating at 22,085 hectares, followed by Pinot Noir at 5,653 hectares, Chardonnay (3,203 ha) and Pinot Gris (2,469 ha), according to New Zealand Winegrowers. Marlborough is the country’s biggest winemaking region, with 25,135 ha under vine.
No. 6 USA
Value: US$75.6 million
Volume: 9.63 million litres
Ranking by value: No.6
Ranking by volume: No. 6
The US’ wine exports to China saw an impressive growth of 44.09% to US$75.6 million when its volume stayed relatively the same compared with last year, meaning there’s an increase of its average price for its bottled wines.
No. 5 Italy
Value: US$139.14 million
Volume: 29.4 million litres
Ranking by value: No.5
Ranking by volume: No. 5
Italy’s wine market share in China has been averaging around 6% for a few years now, without making any significant further inroads. In 2017, its ranking in both volume and value remained unchanged to 2016.
No. 4 Spain
Value: US$149.9 million
Volume: 67.9 million litres
Ranking by value: No. 4
Ranking by volume: No. 4
During 2017, China imported 67.9 million litres of bottled wines from Spain worth about US$149.9 million, making it the country’s 4th biggest source for bottled wine imports, a drop in ranking from 2016’s No. 3.
But when it comes to bulk wine imports, that’s where Spain has seen the most impressive results, overtaking China’s longtime number one bulk wine supplier, Chile, in terms of volume.
In 2017, Spain’s bulk wine exports to China grew by 200% to 63.34 million litres, surpassing Chile, although Chile still remains No. 1 by value.
No. 3 Chile
Value: US$266.97 million
Volume: 74.3 million litres
Ranking by value: No. 3
Ranking by volume: No. 3
Thanks to China and Chile’s Free Trade Agreement, China has now become Chile’s most valuable wine export market. The country’s Chilean wine imports in 2017 grew by 27.5% to US$266.97 million year-on-year, while its volume had a healthy growth of 23.66% to more than 74.3 million litres.
In addition to bottled imported wines, Chile is an essential source for China’s bulk wine imports. Despite losing the number one spot by volume to Spain, Chile still counts itself as China’s biggest bulk wine source by value, shipping US$60.11 million worth of wines to China in 2017.
No. 2 Australia
Value: US$682.4 million
Volume: 105.7 million litres
Ranking by value: No. 2
Ranking by volume: No. 2
China has undoubtedly grown to be Australia’s greatest growth engine. In 2017, both Australia’s export volume and value growth were in double digits. China imported 105.7 million litres of wines worth more than US$682.4 million from Australia, up 33.2% in volume and 25.77% in value. Despite still trailing France, Australia’s average wine export price to China is higher than France’s US$4.82 per litre at US$6.45 per litre, in line with an earlier report by Wine Australia.
In January this year, China has further reduced import tariff on Australian wines based on the two country’s FTA agreement, which would give impetus for its wine exports. In 2019, the two countries would completely scrap import tariff on Australian wines.
No. 1 France
Value: US$1.05 billion
Volume: 217.8 million litres
Ranking by value: No. 1
Ranking by volume: No. 1
Despite Australia’s strong charge to the top, France is still holding strong, thanks to China’s favourite Bordeaux reds. In 2017, China’s French wine imports grew by 8.83% to US$1.05 billion, still far ahead Australia.
Admittedly, Bordeaux is the biggest source for French wines in the mainland market, other regions in France such as Languedoc, Rhône Valley are gaining recognition with better value offers.