China wine imports (pic: iStock)
China Wine

Major reshuffle for China’s top wine exporters

Top contenders are racing to grab the top seat vacated by Australia, and the latest data have revealed the new faces for China's top suppliers.

With China’s hefty punitive tariffs on Australian wine, for the first five months of the year, it’s like a game of musical chairs as top contenders race to grab the top seat vacated by Australia. Now, the latest data released by the country has revealed the new faces entering the game.

From January to May, France reclaimed its spot as China’s biggest wine supplier, a title that was usurped by Australia in 2019.

According to data released by China Association of Imports and Exports of Wine & Spirits, France exported 46.45 million liters of wine to China worth about US$285.4 million in the first five months of the year, representing a 61.45% growth in value and a 22.35% increase in volume over the same period last year.

Chinese wine buyers (pic: iStock)
Chinese wine buyers (pic: iStock)

This means French wines now account for 41.5% of the country’s overall imports at US$687.8 million, surpassing Australia’s previous market share of 40%.

Coming in second is Chile. Its export value to China during the period grew by 46.73% to US$138.5 million for a total of 55.4 million liters of wine over the same period last year. The South American country takes up 20.14% of market share.

Italy advanced its ranking in China, coming at No. 3. Its import value jumped 45.11% to US$67.2 million and volume grew 24.66% year on year. Italian wines now take up about 9.8% market share in China.

The top three wine suppliers in China now are responsible for over 70% of imported wines sold in China.

Spain is ranked as China’s fourth largest exporter in terms of value at US$58.4 million.

Australia saw the biggest slide due to the crashing tariffs imposed on its wines for a period of five years. According to CAWS, its exports to China dropped 81% in value and 84% in volume, bringing its overall market share down to just 7% from close to 40%.

The US came in as sixth biggest wine supplier, ahead of Argentina, South Africa, Germany and New Zealand.

Surprisingly, Portugal and Georgia have both slid out of top 10 based on Jan-May import data.

There’s hope to be enthusiastic. For the first time the country’s total wine imports recorded a moderate growth of 0.15% to US$ 687 million, coming from a year-long snag in 2020.

Its volume dropped slightly by 1.1% to 174.6 million liters, a much more moderate depression compared with data from the first four months, adds CAWS.

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