SPANISH WINE EXPORT TO CHINA DECLINED 20% IN 2018, AMID A COOLING IMPORTED WINE MARKET
By David Ma
China’s imported wine market cooled off in 2018 due to a sharp downturn in the second half of the year. The decline affected almost all major exporting countries, with Spanish wines suffering a whopping 20.13% fall in import value, according to a report in Beijing Business Today.
The decline in imported wines coincided with a cooling economy in China, coupled with a close to 10 percent devaluation of the Chinese currency against US dollars and Euro.
Spain topped the list of most affected wine exporting country, its export to China declined from USD193 million in 2017 to USD154 million, representing a staggering 20.13% drop.
France, the biggest wine exporter to China, also saw export value dropped 8.75% from USDD1.102 billion to USDD1.006 billion.
Despite being the star performer in the China market last year, thanks to the tariff reduction from the China-Australia free trade agreement, Australia’s wine export to China was down 3.51% in value, from USD728.3 million to USD702 million.
Italy suffered a similar level of decline, wine export value to China declined 3.53% to USD155 million from USD161 million.
Chile was the only major wine country that has escaped decline, its wine export to China increased 4.5% in value, from USD328.7 million in 2017 to USD343 million in 2018.
China’s imported wine market fared quite well in first half of 2018. Data from the China Association for Import and Export of Wine and Spirits showed a year-on-year growth of 32.34% in volume and a 35.84% growth in value in the first quarter.
Data released by China Ministry of Commerce showed that wine sales increased 33.5% in volume and 3.3% in value in the first seven months of 2018, a large proportion of the wines sold were imported wines.
The numbers started to turn ugly in the second half. Beijing Business Today quoted data released by ASKCI Consulting, an independent business analysis and consultancy company based in Shenzhen, as saying that wine imports declined sharply from June 2018.
China imported 54,000 tons of wine in June last year, down 30.4% year-on-year. In July, the number was 58,000 tons, down 19.6% from year earlier. August wine import was 62 000 tons, down 13.4%; September 61,000 tons, down 24.9%.
The speed China’s imported wine market cooled off presents daunting prospect to exporting countries. However, some wine industry people in China see this as an opportunity for locally produced wines to catch up.
(the writer can be contacted at: DavidMa@thewinechronicle.com)
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