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Australian Wine Producers Return to China to Growth was explosive by LUAN LI08/05/2024  


China's imports of Australian wine surged shortly after the nation ended a three-year era of punitive levies but producers are likely to quickly notice a shrinking market.

Growth was explosive after China lifted anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on wine from Australia on March 29, according to the latest data from the China Chamber of Commerce of Import & Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-products.

In the first three months of this year, China imported 2.2 million liters of Australian wine, rising by more than five times from a year ago. Such trade was worth USD5.8 million, up by almost seven times. The share of Australian wines among all imported wines in China rose to 2.4 percent from less than 0.3 percent last year.

A market insider told Yicai that "backlogged" Australian wines will now enter the Chinese market, especially low-priced products with relatively high quality, which will help reactivate consumption. “Optimistic changes already show in March data and the peak season in the second half calls for further observation.”

Habits are changing as people in China drank 680 million liters of wine last year, down from nearly 1.8 billion liters in 2018, according to a report by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine. The value of such imports fell to a 10-year low of almost USD1.2 billion, a 60 percent decrease from a peak in 2018.

The return of Australian wines should stimulate the market but changing the pattern of consumption will be hard because the focus has shifted from growth to fighting for existing market share, said Li Wei, chairman of Swan Wine Group which exports wine to China.