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Importers of Spanish Wine Enjoy Growing Success in Chinese Market

www.laht.com by Asset24/05/2018  

The presence of importers of Spanish wine at an exhibition in Beijing on Wednesday demonstrated their success in the Asian country, and they predicted a bright future as Spanish wines enjoy more recognition and growing demand.

The Top Wine China 2018 fair ended on Wednesday in Beijing with a presentation about the main wine-producing countries, aimed at distributors and sellers in a progressively dynamic sector driven by young consumers of the middle class.

“It is a good time to be in the Chinese market,” Yap Heichun, head of Otazu Asia – a subsidiary of Spanish winemaker Otazu established in 2016 – told EFE.

The Spanish presence at the fair, organized by the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX), included 14 importers and wineries.

China imported 746 million liters of wine worth $2.78 billion in 2017, according to customs data.

This meant a 17 percent growth year on year, and showed that imports have practically doubled since 2013.

Imports from Spain grew 4.2 percent in the first two months of 2018, a period of low growth due to the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Otazu Asia imported 100,000 bottles of wine to China in 2017 and expects to raise the figure by 30 percent this year.

Chen Jiebin, co-owner of Spimor, a Guangzhou-based importer and distributor of Spanish wines and liquors, told EFE that the Chinese market has a good future.

“Until recently, people did not know much about wines, but now increasingly they have more knowledge, are very professional, and know how to appreciate a good wine. And they are ready to spend 1,000-2,000 yuan (around $150-$300) for a bottle,” he added.

Chen said the wine boom in the country was largely driven by young professionals of the growing middle class, who are shunning Baijiu, a strong traditional grain liquor which can contain up to 65 percent alcohol.

Spimor distributes wines from Spanish regions of Rioja and Cadiz in China, and Chen said that they were opening up the market for Rioja rose and white wines as well as young, aged and reserve reds and organizing promotion and tasting events.