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Pernod Ricard wines undergoing 'standard import reviews' in China

globaltimes.cn by Global Times15/06/2018  

Some of Pernod Ricard's products imported into China are undergoing normal document reviews at Chinese customs and standard procedures are being followed, according to a statement the firm sent to the Global Times on Thursday in which it denied recent foreign media reports on customs delays.

Reuters reported Wednesday that some shipments of the company's top-selling Australian wine brand, Jacob's Creek, were being held up at Chinese customs, citing anonymous sources from the Australian government.

"These contradictory reports reflect the delicate political situation between China and Australia," Wang Jun, deputy director of the Department of Information at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

"Relations are in a difficult phase right now, but there is no reason to think that Australian goods are being stopped at customs," he said.

The report followed claims by foreign media last month about Australian wine imports being held up at Chinese customs, claims that have been denied by the Chinese government. 

Importers of Australian wine contacted by the Global Times at that time also denied any unusual trouble with Chinese customs.

China is one of the world's largest importers of wine and liquor, and the local appetite for foreign alcoholic beverages is growing rapidly. Imports of alcoholic beverages rose 61 percent by value on a yearly basis in the first quarter, according to figures published by the China Association for Import and Export of Wine and Spirits (CAWS).

According to the CAWS report, the market share of Australian wine in China during March was 33.4 percent, closely following market leader France, which had 33.5 percent.

The Chinese government is committed to expanding imports of high-quality consumer goods to satisfy public demand and promote the upgrading of domestic industries, according to a State Council statement on Wednesday.