CHINA DATA: SPIRITS IMPORTS UP 32% BUT WINE DOWN 11% IN 2019
By Tony Zhu
Credit: Siulan Law Mathews
China’s spirits imports grew 32.01% by volume in 2019 while imports of wine declined by 10.91%, according to the latest statistics released by the China Association of Imports and Exports of Wine & Spirits (CAWS).
The volume of spirits imported was 1.09 million hectolitres (mhl), worth a total of USD1.6b representing a growth of 13.44% by value.
The CAWS data showed that almost all categories of spirits recorded double digit growth both by volume and by value, while the best performing category is liqueur and cordial which recorded a stellar growth of 155%.
Liqueur and cordial are sweetened distilled spirits like Amaretto and Irish Cream which are often used in cocktails, indicating that China’s cocktail consumption is growing fast.
Imports of whisky grew 13.79% by volume to 2.15 mhl and 20.26% by value to USD208 million.
Brandy is the worst performing spirits category, though the import grew 13.9% by volume, by value it was a much more sluggish 3.73%.
Compared to spirits, the Chinese imported wine market in 2019 was far less promising.
Total volume of wine imported in the year was 6.12 mhl, a decline of 10.91%. By value wine imports worth USD2.43 billion representing a decline of 14.8%.
According to CAWS, Australia was China’s top source of imported wines in 2019 with 35.5% of market share. The country’s import volume declined by 10.6% to 1.47 mhl, while import value grew by 10.6% to USD864m.
Despite having long dominated the China market, French wines’ market share reduced to 28.49% in 2019.
Wine imports from France declined 19.18% to 1.45 mhl by volume in 2019, while import value declined by 35.09% to USD693m.
Chile came in third with both volume and value down 8%. Italy ranked fourth, up 3.1% in volume but down 7.33% in value.
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