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Australia beats France to head China's 2019 wine value charts - figures

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Australia overtook France as China's leading wine importer by value in the first five months of the year, according to new figures from Wine Australia.

Australian wine has targetted sales in China over the past few years

Australian wine has targetted sales in China over the past few years

The southern hemisphere country sold wine to the value of AUD488m (US$343m) in China from January to May, a jump of 6% compared to the same period in 2018, Wine Australia told just-drinks, citing data from Global Trade Atlas. The increase put Australia ahead of France for the five months. France's value of its wine exports to China fell by 30% in the period. 

Australia also passed France in export volumes to China despite a 20% decline in the period. France's volumes dropped by 30% as both countries sold less lower-value wines. Chile remained the leading volume exporter to China, adding 2% in the five-month period.

News of the jumps comes as Australian wine's focus on the Chinese market continues to pay off. China became the leading export destination for Australian wine in 2016.

In a new report from trade group Wine Australia, released last week, Australian wine found major gains in the East Asian country in the 12 months to June, helped by a recent dropping of tariffs.

Australian wine exports to China - including Hong Kong and Macau - hit a financial year record the 12-month period, increasing 7% in value to AUD1.2bn (US$846m), according to Wine Australia figures. Australia now accounts for 24% of imported volumes in China, up from 13% in 2015. The country is behind Chile and France in total export volume terms.

In the report, Wine Australia brushed off volumes declines in China and for exported Australian wines overall. China volumes were down 16% and overall export volumes fell by 6% in the 12 months to June. The trade group blamed volumes falls in the AUD2.50 and below FOB (free-on-board) price segment, which it said helped drive up average values.

According to Wine Australia, in the 12-month period there was a 10% increase in the overall average value of exported wine to AUD3.58 per litre, the highest level since 2009.

According to GlobalData figures, per capita consumption of wine in China stood at 1.6 litres in 2017 and is expected to reach 2.5 litres by 2022. Despite the expected growth, consumption is still short of the global average, giving wineries a huge opportunity over the next few years.

To read the full Wine Australia export report, click here.

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Sectors: Wine

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