Australia Bordeaux Wine

Weekly digest: DBR Lafite’s new international director and Australia shifts from China

Australia made a point in its Vision 2050 report to reduce its heavy reliance on China, and cross-border travel ban between China and Hong Kong will take its toll on the grey market wine trading.

Welcome to our China Wine Market Briefs, a new section created by Vino Joy News to bring to you the latest and essential readings on what’s happening in Chinese wine industry reported in Chinese and English language press.

Market Watch 

Hong Kong has again extended cross-border travels from July 15 to August 7. This means mainland visitors will still be subject to 14-day mandatory quarantine until August 7 the earliest. The government previously said it’s working with Macau and Guangdong province to mutually recognized Covid-19 tests, but so far no timeline of when the health code system will be in place. It has been over five months since cross-border travels between mainland China and Hong Kong are cut off. It certainly would have played an impact on cross-border wine trading particularly on wine merchants who engaged in selling wines via “coyotes”, these who got paid to hand carry expensive  bottles from tax-free Hong Kong to mainland China.

Australia looks like it’s shifting away from China. Australia has debuted its Vision 2050 report, which aims to turn the country into a AU$10 billion wine export powerhouse by 2050. The report also made a point to shift away from its heavy focus on China, currently its biggest export market, given the growing trade tensions between the two countries, wrote The Sydney Morning Herald. “A key consideration will be to minimize the risk associated with over-reliance on one or two key markets. Diversifying markets also reduces the potential impact of external economic shocks arising from geopolitical tensions, exchange rate fluctuations and changing demand patterns,” the report says. As we reported before China threatened to retaliate Australia if it decides to launch an independent inquiry in coronavirus outbreak. Australian government also announced last week that it will extend a haven for Hong Kong residents after the passing of National Security Law. This most definitely will draw more irks from Beijing, and further inflame tensions between the two countries.

Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus outbreak in China, is rebooting its dining sector. Wuhan Rural Commercial Bank will offer RMB 5 billion (about US$707 million) in credit to catering service providers in the city, which can also apply for interest subsidies from the government, according to state news agency Xinhua. Wuhan has 51,000 registered food and beverage service providers, with some 500,000 people employed. Restaurants have seen their dine-in business return to 40% of ordinary levels, while the figure for the food delivery sector has hit 80 percent, said Liu Guoliang, head of the food and beverage industry association of Wuhan.

People on the move 

Guillaume Deglise, the former CEO of Vinexpo and Albert Bichot, has now joined DBR Lafite as its international director, Vino Joy News has learned through Deglise. Deglise worked as Vinexpo CEO for 27 years before joining Burgundy house Albert Bichot in 2019. In his new role, Deglise will have a range of responsibilities including overseeing the commercial operations of its international estates, which includes its first Chinese estate Domaine de Long Dai in Shandong and its massively popular Bordeaux brands Légende and Saga.

Rosemary Yu has left Hong Kong-based wine importer Altaya Wines after working over two years as its managing director. It’s unclear who succeeded her.

If you have a job post related to wine industry in China including Hong Kong and Macau, you can get in touch via editorial@vino-joy.com.

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