Slower growth ex­pected of China’s wine mar­ket

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By XU JUN­QIAN in Shang­hai


Red wine con­sump­tion in China dropped 5 per­cent in 2015, mark­ing the se­cond con­sec­u­tive year of de­cline since 2013 when the coun­try was ranked as the world’s largest con­sumer, said Guillaume Deglise, the CEO of Vin­expo, the world’s largest wine and spir­its ex­hi­bi­tion.

How­ever, Deglise be­lieves that wine in gen­eral will con­tinue to be the ma­jor growth en­gine that drives the oth­er­wise slug­gish in­dus­try in China till 2019. China is cur­rently the fifth largest wine mar­ket and big­gest spir­its mar­ket in the world.

“There is un­likely to be more dou­ble digit growth in the Chi­nese mar­ket. But with its grow­ing ma­tu­rity, the out­look is still bright,” said Deglise at a news con­fer­ence in Shang­hai on Jan 13.

Ac­cord­ing to a joint re­port re­leased by Vin­expo and The In­ter­na­tional Wine and Spir­its Re­search (IWSR), red wine con­sump­tion in China en­joyed a whop­ping 74 per­cent growth rate from 2009 to 2013 in terms of vol­ume. To­gether with the United States, Rus­sia and Canada, China is among the four big­gest red wine con­sum­ing coun­tries that have reg­is­tered pos­i­tive growth dur­ing this pe­riod. The US has re­tained its po­si­tion as the world’s largest wine mar­ket, and the re­port fore­casts its growth rate to be 2.1 per­cent till 2019.

Though red wine — the color of which has been as­so­ci­ated with luck and for­tune in China — has dom­i­nated the mar­ket here, a sim­i­lar wax and wane has been seen in the gen­eral mar­ket that in­cludes still and sparkling wines. Growth rate for wines is ex­pected to fall from the 21.4 per­cent reg­is­tered be­tween 2010 and 2014 to 3.8 per­cent be­tween 2014 and 2019.

Deglise at­trib­uted the de­cline of in China. This par­tic­u­lar seg­ment ex­pe­ri­enced a mod­est 3.3 per­cent growth rate de­spite the de­cline of the over­all wine mar­ket be­tween 2013 and 2014. Deglise noted that this growth is likely to con­tinue as high-qual­ity and low-cost im­ported wines have al­ready es­tab­lished them­selves against lo­cally pro­duced wines, which ac­counted for 80 per­cent of the wine con­sumed in China in 2014.

French wine, Bordeaux in par­tic­u­lar, re­mains the most pop­u­lar im­ported wine, while Span­ish wine is the fastest-grow­ing im­port with a 277.2 per­cent growth rate. The US is the sixth largest sup­plier of im­ported wine to China.

Though the per capita con­sump­tion of wine is still very low, Deglise noted that a grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple from China’s ex­pand­ing middle class have been switch­ing from tra­di­tion­ally pop­u­lar spir­its like bai­jiu to wine. He added that by 2020, there should be 32 mil­lion peo­ple in China who are of drink­ing age.

This year’s Vin­expo will take place from May 24 to 26 at the Hong Kong Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­ter. An es­ti­mated 1,300 in­ter­na­tional ex­hibitors from 34 coun­tries and 16,700 vis­i­tors are ex­pected to par­tic­i­pate in the event.

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