Aus­tralian wine fizzes with de­mand from Chi­nese main­land

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS -

CAN­BERRA — Stronger de­mand for premium Aus­tralian wine in China has con­trib­uted to a 10 per­cent in­crease in Aus­tralia’s over­all wine ex­port value, ac­cord­ing to Wine Aus­tralia’s ex­port re­port re­leased late last month.

China main­tained its po­si­tion as the No 1 ex­port des­ti­na­tion for Aus­tralian wine in 2016-17, af­ter ex­port value to China grew by 44 per­cent to be worth A$607 mil­lion ($482 mil­lion).

The to­tal value of ex­ports grew by A$201 mil­lion to A$2.3 bil­lion.

While China re­mained at the top of the ex­port value tree, the value of wine ex­ports to the United States also grew, but by just 3 per­cent to A$464 mil­lion, while the value of ex­ports to the United King­dom fell by 7 per­cent.

Al­though the ex­port value of wine to the UK fell, the re­port said the coun­try re­mained the No 1 des­ti­na­tion for Aus­tralian wine ex­ports by vol­ume, in­di­cat­ing that UK con­sumers pre­fer cheaper Aus­tralian wines, while Chi­nese tastes are a lit­tle more ex­pen­sive.

Ac­cord­ing to Wine Aus­tralia CEO An­dreas Clark, there was also strong growth in ex­ports of car­bon­ated wines as well as premium wines.

“Pleas­ingly, nearly all price points ex­pe­ri­enced growth and there were ben­e­fits for ex­porters in all seg­ments of the mar­ket,” he said in a state­ment ac­com­pa­ny­ing the re­port.

“An in­ter­est­ing de­vel­op­ment from last year was the

growth in the value of Aus­tralian wine ex­ported to China in 2016-17

growth in the car­bon­ated wine cat­e­gory, which in­cludes va­ri­eties such as Moscato.”

“Ex­ports (of sparkling wine) more than dou­bled to A$30 mil­lion. The United States was the des­ti­na­tion for 35 per­cent of the car­bon­ated wine ex­ports, with the Chi­nese main­land (15 per­cent) and Ja­pan (14 per­cent) the other ma­jor des­ti­na­tions.”

Ex­port di­rec­tor of Hand­picked Wines James Hunt said the com­pany’s suc­cess in the Chi­nese mar­ket was on the back of hard work and rec­og­niz­ing that each mar­ket and its cul­ture was unique.

“This is built on the back of tight brand guide­lines, fre­quent mar­ket vis­its, en­gaged ac­tiv­ity and com­mu­ni­ca­tion with all lev­els of the dis­tri­bu­tion chain,” he said in a state­ment.

“As the busi­ness grew, we found the need to em­ploy within the re­gion to main­tain the brand val­ues and en­sure the mes­sage was con­sis­tent across the re­gion, par­tic­u­larly with lo­cal web­sites, trade ma­te­rial and so­cial me­dia ac­counts.”

Mean­while, the re­port said 24 per­cent of all wine im­ported into China is from Aus­tralia, sec­ond only to France, which has a 41 per­cent share of the Chi­nese im­port mar­ket.

HAO FEI / FOR CHINA DAILY

Three girls record a fun song at a mini KTV booth at a shop­ping mall in Chengdu, Sichuan province.

XU CONGJUN / FOR CHINA DAILY

A fe­male con­sumer walks past an Aus­tralian wine stall in Nan­tong, Jiangsu province.

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