China’s wine imports in the first six months of the year slid due to Covid-19, with Chile seeing the sharpest decline among all countries of origins.
According to China Association for Imports and Exports of Wine and Spirits (CAWS), the country imported a total of 214 million litres of wines from January to June worth US$831 million, representing a year-on-year drop of 31.2% in volume and 32.3% drop in value.
Australia still leads wine imports in both volume and value terms, taking up 38.1% of market share, widening its lead over France, which came in second at 26.2% market share.
The biggest surprise was from Chile, which ranks as China’s third largest wine supplier, as its wine exports to China suffered a more than 50% drop in volume, while its value also slumped by 43.8% based on the data.
Argentina saw the biggest uptick in volume, up by a stunning 654%, mainly driven by bulk wine exports, according to the association.
Despite the downward trend, the association said there’s cause of optimism, as in the month of June the decline has slowed, especially buoyed by Australia’s wine performance. The country’s export value to China in May dropped more than 40% but that has eased into less than 15% in June.
China has largely contained the virus despite small sporadic clusters in some cities. Sommeliers and importers largely expect a full return to pre-Covid level in the last quarter of the year, as Vino Joy News previously reported.