With the improvement of living standards and the change of lifestyle, the demand for wine in China keeps increasing. China is the fifth largest wine consumer in the world. The fixed wine consumer groups in China are no longer limited to the middle class and the well-heeled. An increasing number of young people are starting to drink wine, and some middle-aged and elderly people are becoming wine drinkers for health reasons. At official banquets and business dinners, the consumption of Chinese spirits far exceeds that of wine but the gap in market share is narrowing.
The development of e-commerce boosts wine sales in China. And consumer groups vary greatly in preference and purchasing power. The output volume and quality of domestic wine can hardly be improved, and wine making costs more in China than in other countries, which pushes up the import volume of wine in China. Many Chinese wine producers repackage imported bulk wine to produce wine of their own brands. As the Chinese government has no special restrictions on wine import, the number of wine importers in China stays above 5,000 in recent years.
According to analysis, the import volume of wine in China reached 729.68 million liters in 2018. It decreased as compared to 2017 but increased by about 80% as compared to 2013. About 20% of China's wine imports are bulk wine in containers holding more than 10L, and the rest are bottled wine in containers holding 10L or less. In 2018, the import value of wine in China reached USD 3.91 billion, increasing by about 6.50% as compared to 2017. France was the largest source of China's wine imports. The value of China's wine imports from France was about USD 1 billion in 2018, decreasing by nearly 9% YOY. Australia was the second largest source of China's wine imports. The value of China's wine imports from Australia was about USD 700 million in 2018, decreasing by 3.50% YOY. Chile was the third largest source of China's wine imports. The value of China's wine imports from Chile was about USD 340 million, increasing by 4.50% YOY. In 2018, the average import price of wine in China was lower than 6 USD/liter, which shows that China's wine imports are mostly medium-to-low end products.
According to market survey, there is neither well-developed wine culture nor well-known wine brands on the Chinese market. Most Chinese consumers find it difficult to identify the types and grades of wines. Therefore, low-end imported wines prevail in China. Some inferior wines are even sold at high prices by advantage of marketing techniques. China's wine market will become standardized as consumers grow more mature and the market is better regulated. But it may take 5 to 10 years or longer. It is important for wine importers to select brands and products suitable for the Chinese market and spread consumption concept in a way acceptable to Chinese consumers.
- Economic and policy environments of wine import in China
- Wine import in China from 2013 to 2018
- Major sources of China's wine imports
- Product segments and prices of wine imports
- Major wine importers in China
- Forecasts on wine import in China from 2019 to 2023