Business / Industries

China will surpass US to become top consumer of Chilean wine

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-12-31 13:38

SANTIAGO - "China will soon surpass the US as the top consumer of Chilean wine," Claudio Cilveti, general manager of Vinos de Chile, the country's wine association, told Xinhua on Wednesday.

According to Cilveti, the sales of Chilean wine have grown by 43 percent in the last five years in China and should grow by around 30 percent in 2016, making the country the second-largest customer.

"Chilean wineries are currently seeing sales of $150 million a year in China, which are set to reach $180-$190 million (in 2016)," he said.

"I believe that our sales to China can still greatly increase as this country is undergoing a cultural change," said Cilveti.

According to Cilveti, Chinese people consume less than a liter of wine a year per capita, and he is expecting a change with a new economic model which prioritizes consumption in the country,

Cilveti, who was speaking during a conference on the future of Chilean wine, said that Chile is now the third-largest provider of wine to China, following France and Australia.

"This is a great opportunity as Chinese customers like having long-term relationships. Chilean wines have been warmly received and 25 Chilean wineries now have offices in the country," he said.

Cilveti also attributed this success to the free-trade agreement signed between the two countries in 2006.

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