China’s top 10 wine importing countries in 2018

In line with Chinese customs figures, China’s imported wine experienced its first volume drop since 2014, with a moderate increase in value, the latest figures released by the country’s official trade organisation have revealed.

China imports

The newly released figures from the China Association Of Imports And Export Of Wine & Spirits (CAWS) showed that the country’s overall wine imports in 2018 dropped 8.26% in volume to 687.5 million litres, while its import value remained more or less the same with a 2.12% increase to US$2.85 billion, with exports hit by the country’s slowing economy and US-China trade war.

Earlier figures released by Chinese customs showed the country’s import volume dropped 8.95% and value was level with a 1.1% increase.

The discrepancy could be due to the fact that CAWS compiled its figures from its members, consisting of wine importers and merchants, while Chinese customs figures include statistics from importers as well as logistics companies.

The shared feeling among the trade is that the country’s slowing economy, the worst in 28 years since 1990, and the uncertainties from the US-China trade war, as well as depreciated RMB, China’s official currency, are bearing down on the wine market, and are likely to play out for 2019.

“We believe key challenges will be overall on the economic and financial side of Chinese economy. Besides the current slowdown, several key players in B2B are facing financial constraints to continue to maintain or grow their operations, whether in retail or wholesale. Same for corporate businesses which are entertaining less or cutting budgets. And of course end consumers are much more cautious now than before, and one of the main effects in the last years is seeing them consuming less in China but spending overseas,” Alberto Fernandez, managing partner of Torres China, told dbHK.

In contrast to the earlier customs figures that showed France, Australia, Spain and Italy all saw value drops in 2018, CAWS figures however showed that, for bottled wine imports at least, only France experienced a value dip.

Based on the country of origins for imported bottled wine, France still remains China’s biggest wine source for bottled wine imports.

Australian wine imports, based on CAWS figures, saw growth both in volume and value with gap between France narrowing gradually.

Chile’s volume and value remained more or less the same as 2017 with 0.01% increase in volume and 0.47% increase in import value.

Italy’s import volume remained unchanged with value grew by 4.92%, according to the CAWS data.

Spain suffered a 13.75% drop in import volume but value increased by 3.19%.

The country’s bulk wine imports dropped by 11.04% during the year to 160.6 million litres, while its value grew by 17.51% to US$186.7 million.

Click through the pages to find out China’s top 10 importing countries in 2018. More in-depth analysis on China’s wine market with leading wine importers will appear in dbHK Feb/March issue. Stay tuned. 

One Response to “China’s top 10 wine importing countries in 2018”

  1. Brian Raue says:

    The wine market in China remains strong with demand for quality wines on the increase even though a slight drop in volume from last year which is more of a correction from the huge growth over the past 5-10 years.
    Australian wines are well positioned for 2019 with the FTA now in force.

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