China’s wine imports in the first four months of the year failed to grow and dipped further in both volume and value even on a low base of comparison from last year, signaling the country’s wine market recovery will be a daunting task until consumer spending fully bounces back.
Official wine imports data from Chinese customs compiled by Huaon.com showed that China’s wine imports dropped 7.2% in volume to 141.4 million liters from January to April, while its value declined by 3.3% to US$563.7 million, compared with the same period last year.
The underwhelming data dampens market hope for a fast recovery even though the country’s economy and retail sales have rebounded and are powering ahead.
The figures will likely disappoint producers and merchants especially when the drops in both volume and value are based on pandemic-hit levels from a year earlier, which already are a low base of comparison.
As we have previously reported, wine sector remains the weak link in the country’s drinks industry, as other categories such as Baijiu and beer have rebounded.
However, there are signs to be optimistic. In the month of April, data shows wine imports registered double-digit growth in both volume and value.
The country imported 33.3 million liters of wine worth about US$126.9 million in April, up by 23.1% in volume and 27.8% in value, respectively.
It’s likely that May imports will be going up, as Golden Week spurred demand and spending will drive up wine sales.