Wine Imports of China Growing Histrionically without US

Dec 22, 2016 2 Comments by


China imported wine of $1.77 billion, representing a 19.1% yearly increase. According to China Association for Import and Export of Wines and Spirits, China’s total volume of wine is jumped to 14.42% from January to September. So comparatively, US played small role in wines.

The Numbers:

China imports bulk of wine in the first three month of year. China is up 9.76% year on year to US 74.8 million. Sparkling wine exports, according to statistics 12.23% decline in value to $41.8 million year on year.

Australian and Chilean wines surged in volume, while Russian wines growth in average price. But American wines left behind due to the fraction of China market. In case of importing bottle wines, France and Australia imported 70% of the bottled wines followed by Chile, Spain, Italy, The USA, South Africa, Argentina, New Zeeland, Portugal, Germany, Georgia and Canada.

For wine prices, New Zealand led the list with $9.66 per liter. Among the top 13 countries, Spanish wines recorded the average sales price $2 per liter. In September China’s e-commerce giants such as Alibaba and launched online wine and spirits festivals to increase sales across the country.

It is widely reported that the younger wine drinkers in China are branching out for money. But also supplying good quality wines. Online shopping platforms including Alibaba and which imported wines directly from overseas.

wine in China

Better Competition:

The US wine industry is one of the largest and strongest. In 2015, 90% of wine which originate from California, has reached $1.61 billion. And time record of 7.6% increase from 2014. Yet America’s sales of wine to China are dwarfed by other companies.

French wines occupy the biggest share of imported bottled wines in China. With 78% yearly increase, it is now entering with an average price of $6.16 per liter. It was up by 33.8% last year comparison. China has now overtaken the US as the largest market for Australian wine exports.

President Donald Trump is threatening to terminate he efforts by Obama’s administration to negotiate numerous trade agreements.  America’s competitors in this industry are using the trade agreements to reduce tariffs and boost wine sales. When the free trade deal came into force, the Australian wines services team saw a record number of wine exports to China with 48% rise.

In 2015, Chilean wine exports to China stood at $175 million at 41% increase in value. Since signing a Free Trade Agreement in 2005, China has become Chile’s biggest trade partner. Currently, Chile is the third biggest wine importing country by value after France and Australia. Italian wine exports to china took the overall market by more than six months in the first eight months of 2016. China imported wine for €1.4 billion with a jump of 24%. Italy grew by 30.4% according to data from Nimisma’s Wine Monitor.  “These are the first positive effects of the promotion policies set place in China by Italian Government “said Giovanni Mantovani, the CEO of Veronafiere trade affair.  According to this data, at the end of the year, having record sales of €120 million.


China has doubled its wine imports in the last three years. Last year it surpassed Canada in fourth place in the ranking of consumers. This year it is nearly Germany, which it will surpass in 2017.

China is now leaning heavily toward the E.U and the Southern Hemisphere rather than America. China’s biggest listed winemaker reported on 30th October that is Spain, France and European Countries. Currently, China is the fifth largest wines consumers’ nation in the world, with a population of 38 million wine consumers. China industry officials believe in the future that number of wine consumers will increase to ten-fold. And that is making China the world’s leader in wine imports. These are the facts that America and its wine industry can’t ignore.

France is the biggest export of foreign wine to China. Exports of Spanish wine has risen by an average 57% every year since 2000 and reaching 78 million liters in 2015. China has now ranks as Spanish’s seventh largest wine exports. Growth rates have been extraordinary faster than for any market in the world.

This should be a matter of great concern, not only to US wineries but also to the American trade policy. How can America rise into these ranks? US have the quality, but that is not an issue. But missing ingredient must be found to correct these trade imbalances. The incoming US Trade Representative should make the search for that ingredient a priority for better and good result.


News, Wine Distribution in China

About the author

Olivier VEROT, is a Marketing expert for the Chinese Market. He will speak about the Internet trends about wine and about the Marketing best practices.

2 Responses to “Wine Imports of China Growing Histrionically without US”

  1. Imported Wine : 40% market shares in China | Zhongguo Wine says:

    […] the ascent and fall of economies and the tireless, exponential rate of mechanical headway. China, now a key player, just entered the business circle a unimportant forty years back, yet the nation has in a general […]

  2. Steve Boyd says:

    Olivier, Great article. I am trying to establish distribution channels for exporting wine to China from the US, specifically Washington. It would be great if we could correspond via email regarding this. I am trying to enter a market that seems to be tough to gain access.


    Steve Boyd
    Northwest Export

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