China is scaling back on wine consumption

China is scaling back on wine consumption

China’s dwindling wine consumption is directly responsible for dragging down global wine consumption, according to OIV, as the associaiton estimates that China has been drinking less wine each year since 2018, with an annaul loss of 2 million hectoliters (mhl) or roughly 260 million bottles.

In the latest “State of the World Vine and Wine in 2022” report published by OIV, it shows that world wine consumption last year is estimated at 232 mhl, dropping by 2 mhl (-1%) compared to 2021.

But what’s alarming as the report notes is that starting in 2018, global wine consumption has decreased at a regular rate, which is mainly attributed to the decline in China’s consumption, to the detriment of 2 mhl loss per year since 2018.

Chinese wine consumers
Chinese wine consumers

This downward trend was accentuated in 2020 by the Covid-19 pandemic, which brought a depressing effect on many large wine markets. But China’s restrictive covid measures and repeated lockdowns further contracted local market’s wine consumption. As a result, the country’s 2022 wine consumption plunged to 8.8 mhl , accounting for a 16% drop with respect to 2021, causing “a significant impact” on the fall in global consumption, says OIV.

This makes China the world’s 8th biggest wine consuming country and its per capita consumption likewise dropped to 0.8 l/per capita.

Meanwhile, Chinese wine production has been declining for the last decade. Domestic wine produciton level in 2022 is estimated to reach a level of 4.2 mhl, marking a reduction of 29% compared to 2021.

Outside of China, the US continues to remain the largest wine consuming country in the world. With a volume estimated at 34 mhl, its consumption has increased by almost 3% compared to 2021, and now it is back to its pre-pandemic levels.

Within the EU, France with an estimate of 25.3 mhl in 2022, is the largest consuming country and the second largest in the world. This is the second consecutive year of positive growth after the fall of consumption caused by the Covid-19 sanitary crisis. Italy, second largest market in the EU and third at world level, has an estimated wine consumption of 23 mhl in 2022, down 5% on 2021, but in line with its five-year average.

Global record export value

At the same time, the overall value of global wine exports reached record high in 2022 to €37.6 billion, driven by high inflation and global supply chain distruptions.

The global supply chain disruptions led to significant slowdown of sea freight. This combination of Ukraine war and energy crisis resulted in an overall lower volume of wine exported at a much higher average price (+15% compared to 2021), with global wine exports value estimated at €37.6 billion, the highest figure ever recorded.

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