Top 10 news of 2018 in China’s wine market

3. Australian wine delays

It had all been smooth sailing for Australian wines in China until relations between the two countries became strained when Canberra proposed anti-foreign interference laws, following reports of Chinese interference in local politics.

In May Treasury Wine Estates confirmed to dbHK that its shipments to China were delayed at customs. Other Australian wine companies including Jacob’s Creek owned by Pernod Ricard also experienced delays.

In replying to dbHK, TWE stated, “the company is seeking greater understanding of new and additional verification requirements which have been applied since April 2018, and seemingly appear to only apply to Australian Country of Origin wines, and to Australian exporters operating ‘warehouse models’.”

China denied the delays, and insisted that the clearing were handled according to normal procedures. Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, urged Australia to “take off the coloured glasses” in order to set the two countries’ relations back on track after a meeting with his counterpart Julie Bishop on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Argentina.

The wines were eventually cleared, and the episode did not seem to affect Australian wine’s overall performance in China.

In the 12 months ended on 30 September last year, exports to China amounted to AU$1.06 billion, according to Wine Australia.

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