China’s thirst for Bordeaux is back, and the country gulped at least one in every five exported Bordeaux wines last year, according to the latest data released by Bordeaux Wine Council.
For the past 10 years, China has remained as Bordeaux’s number one export destination in both volume and value, but from 2018 onwards due to previous years’ overheated buying and excess stocks, Bordeaux exports dwindled.
China’s ensuing economic slowdown, trade wars with the US and Australia, followed by Covid-19 means that its appetite for classified clarets never fully returned.
In 2021, however, Bordeaux made a full comeback.
Exports from the famous French wine region to the world’s second largest economy amounted to €616 million last year, a 16% increase over 2020, representing 26% of Bordeaux’s overall export value.
Roughly 54 million bottles were exported to China or a 10% increase over 2020. This means roughly 21% all exported Bordeaux bottles ended up in the Chinese market.
The increase is recorded at a time when China’s overall imports contracted on the back of slowing economy, due to the pandemic and a large vacuum created by Australian wine’s virtual exit after it was slapped with up to 218% anti-dumping tariffs.
More significantly, Bordeaux alone accounts for 67% of all French AOP wines exported to China in volume and 72% in value.
Within China, the data shows Casino city Macau has the most expensive taste for clarets.
Despite Macau’s relatively small import value (€24 million), average price of Bordeaux exported to the city is the highest at €54 a bottle.
Hong Kong was home to €298 million exported Bordeaux wines, or 57,000 hectoliters, averaging at €39 per bottle, far ahead of mainland China’s average price of €6.