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China's love for imported wines turns cold in 2018

By Wang Junwei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-01-18 15:39
Bottles of red wine imported from Australia and New Zealand are for sale at a Metro Supermarket in Shanghai, June 12, 2018. [Photo/IC]

China saw a cooling off in its imported wine enthusiasm in 2018 after years of rapid growth, according to Beijing Business Today.

Last year, apart from Chile, which experienced a 4.5 percent year-on-year growth in its value of wine exports to China, figures for France, Australia, Italy and Spain all suffered a decline.

France, which was China's top source of imported bottled wines in 2017, recorded a value of $1 billion in wine exports to China, down 8.75 percent compared with a year earlier.

Wines from Spain, which exported the largest amount of bulk wine to China in 2017, saw a 20.13 percent year-on-year export value decline to $154.93 million.

The value of China's wine imports was $3.61 billion for the first 11 months in 2018, an increase of 10.1 percent year-on-year, while the whole year of 2017 saw a 21.9 percent increase.

The volume of the country's wine imports stood at 670,716 kiloliters from January to November last year, down 5.1 percent year-on-year, according to an industry consulting service website askci.com.

The cooling off of imported wine fervor may enable the country's domestic wine producers to catch a breather in the fierce competition, some insiders believe.

The competition among imported wines and the continued downward prices are further reducing the profit margins of foreign wine makers compared with their domestic competitors, which makes wine distributors more carefully consider their balance of foreign wines versus domestic ones.

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