Deglise: China’s wine market will recover

Photo: John Kolesidis

Photo: John Kolesidis

Published Feb 5, 2015


Beijing - The head of the world's largest wine and spirits exhibition, Vinexpo, on Thursday predicted China's wine market would return to growth this year after being hit by an anti-graft clampdown.

Chinese drinkers have developed a taste for wine in recent years, with consumption surging 70 percent between 2009 and 2013 to 1.94 billion bottles, according to research by the International Wines and Spirits Record.

But an anti-corruption drive by Beijing, including a clampdown on lavish banquets and giving expensive bottles of wine as gifts, hurt wine sales, dragging them down 7.4 percent in 2013 compared to the previous year.

Vinexpo chief Guillaume Deglise admitted that Chinese President Xi Jinping's anti-extravagance campaign had hit wine consumption “probably more than initially thought”.

But he predicted China's wine market would return to growth this year and keep expanding rapidly, helped by growing taste for the tipple among the country's middle class and a drawdown of existing stocks.

“We expect the consumption to continue to grow from 2015, so further growth is expected from this year in mainland China after two years of decline,” he said at a press conference in Hong Kong.

“We expect 37 million adults to come to drinking age in China within the next five years, this is actually more than the entire population of Canada,” he said, adding: “We are still optimistic on the mainland China market.”

Vinexpo takes place from June 14 to 18 this year in Bordeaux, south-western France.

France is the leading supplier of imported wines to China, with 14.5 million cases of French wine drunk in 2013, compared to 4.1 million cases from the second-largest supplier Australia.

The US remained the world's largest wine market, while red wine represented 54.8 percent of wine drunk in 2013.


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