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Australian wine could be back on Chinese shelves by early 2024

A leading Beijing-based importer has said that Chinese customers will “re-engage with the wines quite quickly” once Australian bottles are reinstated, which may happen as soon as early next year.

Campbell Thompson, the Beijing-based Australian CEO of wine importer and distributor The Wine Republic, has said he does not expect to struggle to shift bottles once Australian wines make their return to the Chinese market.

The highly anticipated removal of sky-high tariffs imposed on Australian exports by China in response to the former’s accusations surrounding the origins of Covid-19, is due to happen any day now.

Thompson believes that Australian bottles could be reinstated on the shelves of Chinese retailers by the early months of 2024 and he does not think there will be resistance from Chinese consumers for products from “good quality Australian producers”.

“Customers still know the wines and I think will re-engage with those wines fairly readily,” he said.

The distributor, who has spent more than a decade importing Australian wine to China, revealed he has already reached out to 10-plus Australian producers, plus “some new players”, in expectation of the tariff abolition.

Other wine importers operating in the Chinese market are readying themselves for a rush on Aussie wines as consumers have effectively been starved of them for three years.

In October db reported that the Australian tariffs were “under review” by both countries for a five-month period, but that even if they were to be removed overnight it would still take two years to clear Australia’s wine surplus that has built up over the last few years with Australia having lost its biggest market.

Despite the tumult, it hasn’t stopped wine companies from making acquisitions and expanding their portfolios in Australia.

In August 2o23 Cherubino Wines snapped up Margaret River Winemakers, and in October The Randall Group acquired the organic Gemtree brand. 

Furthermore, in February 2023, Pol Roger took on the UK distribution of Voyager Estates in Western Australia.

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