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China wine import growth ‘slows down’ in the first quarter of 2017 by Sylvia Wu02/05/2017  

China’s wine market is over-stocked and this has caused import growth to slow in the first three months of 2017, according to trade leaders commenting on official figures released this week.

Latest import figures

During January to March of 2017, imported bottled wine still increased by 5.6% in volume year on year. However, the value of imports dropped by 3.6%, according to fresh figures released by Chinese customs.


China’s wine import figures have been showing rapid growth in both volume and value since 2015. The first three months of 2016 saw a significant 31.1% increase in volume and a 47.3% increase in value year on year.

The latest figures of 2017 may suggest a potential lag between wine sales and wine imports in the Chinese market, said trade professionals.

France and Australia are still the top sources of imported bottled wines in China, and both saw growth of 10% and 14.9% in the first quarter of 2017. However, imports decreased by 8.8% and 8.6% respectively in value, suggesting a shift to cheaper wines.


Other countries saw a reverse trend. Bottled wines from the USA fell by 14.2% in volume, but enjoyed a 63% increase in average price. Italian, Chilean and Spanish wines have also shown increase in average prices.

Imported sparkling wines also grew in both volume (21.5%) and value (35.7%).