China’s growing wine appreciation offers import/export opportunities

What comes to mind when you think of China? The Great Wall? Tea? Yum Cha? What about wine? Probably not, but that could soon change as China is now the world’s fastest growing wine consumption market.
Photo of wine in glassesAlthough the 20 million Chinese currently consuming wine only represents 1.5% of the population, wine consumption in China is growing at around 7% per annum – as opposed to traditional wine drinking countries which have only seen growth of 1% in recent years. Wine Intelligence predicts the number of wine consumers in China to grow to 80 million by 2020!
Most significant from an Australian point of view is the popularity of imported Australian wine in China: it has rapidly become Australia’s fourth largest export destination for bottled wine with exports worth US$87 million in 2009 up from only US$6 million in 2004.
While France, a traditional wine nation, leads the way in supplying wine to China, Australia is not far behind. Indeed Australia is now China’s second largest supplier of bottled wine, supplying 21% of China’s imported bottled wine. The strong fruity flavour of Australian wines appeal to Chinese palates.
Bottled Wine Imports (excluding sparkling) 2004 – 2009 US$ million:

Graph displaying Chinese bottled wine imports
Source: GTIS, (from China Customs Data), 2010
The combination of a growing economy and a rapidly developing middle class with a taste for fine wine has created a fantastic opportunity for Australian wine exporters. Increasingly, wine is viewed as a healthier option to spirit drinking and has become rather trendy in the larger cities.
Since joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) China has lowered its wine import tariff from 65% to 14% (excluding consumption and VAT tariff) creating a real opportunity for profit. Furthermore, the rules for establishing private import/export businesses have been relaxed in recent years.
However, importing wine into China can still be a tricky business – there are many rules to be followed and special licenses are required. Correct storage is also imperative – without temperature controlled facilities entire wine shipments run the risk of spoilage.
ICE’s knowledge and experience can mean the difference between success and failure. We have all the know-how you’ll need to successfully import wine into China – from shipping services to logistics and supply chain management and customs clearance. We have temperature controlled facilities in China to store and distribute wine, and can cater for deliveries to bottle shops, clubs, restaurants or even family functions.
Talk to us today about how we can help you to successfully import wine into China.