Market insights – China

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The Chinese imported wine drinking population is estimated to be around 52 million which is almost double the size it was seven years ago. In terms of imported wine, China is the fourth largest consumer and the fifth largest importer of wine based on volume. Most of the wine consumed in China is non grape wine with almost all of that produced locally. When it comes to grape wine, 40 per cent of the volume consumed is imported and Australia accounts for nearly one quarter of that.
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Overview: China – Australia’s number one export market by value

Wine Intelligence has placed mainland China in the world’s top 10 most attractive wine markets. Over the last four years, the nation has cemented its position in the global top five wine import markets fuelled by several factors. While there are several challenges with this market such as market access and cultural differences, opportunities also exist for Australian wine makers.

Wine consumer attitudes and behaviours in China have been greatly affected by global trends. For upper middle class imported wine drinkers, brand awareness and conversion is strong for Australian wine (behind China and France) but consumption is a lot lower. When it comes to purchasing wine, a larger proportion of these drinkers tend to buy wine in wine shops and through the internet. Further to this, gifting is still an important reason for purchasing grape-based wine. Off-trade consumption of wine has recently been growing for occasions where celebrating a special occasion at home.

Per capita consumption of grape based wine in China is currently 0.9 litres per head (2018), which is significantly less than other markets such as Hong Kong at 5.0 litres per person and the United States of America with 9.9 litres per head.

Understanding how to do business in China can go a long way in discovering ways to take advantage of the changing route-to-market and planning for the Chinese wine consumer of the future. Knowing the various elements specific to the China wine market such as logistics, labels, IP protection, counterfeiting, listing fees and payment terms etc. can significantly reduce the risks for businesses when working with the wine trade.

In 2018, the China market consumed 59 million cases of imported grape wine valued at nearly $US 9.7 billion

Australia is one of the main suppliers of wine imports into China and continues to be in high demand. Competing with wines from France and Chile, Australia maintains a premium position in pricing with an average value of over $6.00 per litre in bottled wine.

Mainland China is Australia's largest export market, accounting for over a third of exported wine value in 2018-19.

China is one of the largest consumers of premium wine in the world and as the market develops, Chinese consumers are demanding high quality wines at accesible prices. Opportunities to grow the volume of premium Australian wine sold in China can be achieved through sophisticated targeted marketing by leveraging specific category entry points.

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Restricted to levy payers and wine exporters. Some reports are available for purchase - find out more


China market insights report

Latest update: 09 Sep 2019

Australian exporters looking to learn more about the wine market in mainland China can get valuable information from Wine Australia’s China Market Insights Report. The report provides an overview of the market conditions and characteristics, wine imports and Australian wine exports, global trends, consumer insights and competitor case studies. It also provides channel analysis, discusses sales trends, doing business in China and market access.

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Insights into doing business in China

Latest update: 19 Aug 2019

The following presentations, from the August 2018 Wine Australia Exporter Update, provide detailed and practical insights for wine exporters into how to sell wine in China – including understanding the changing route-to-market and particularly the critical role of e-commerce both now and into the future.

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Wine import market reports

Latest update: 14 Aug 2019

Summarises wine imports for various markets by three categories - bulk wine, bottled wine and sparkling wine. The report assists Australian wine exporters understand trends in global wine trade.

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Australian wine export market summaries

Latest update: 22 Jun 2019

Australian wine export markets profiles including summary statistics on volume and value of total wine exports, and recent growth trends benchmarked against Australia's total wine exports.

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China Landscapes

Latest update: 19 Feb 2019

This Wine Intelligence report provides detailed analysis on the Chinese wine market highlighting consumption behaviour and attitudes towards wine among Chinese urban upper-middle class imported wine drinkers.

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China/Asia-ready Workshops 2018

Latest update: 22 Jun 2018

This series of video presentations is designed to give Australian wine exporters practical knowledge of how to succeed in doing business with China, including: the cultural differences between Australia and Asia (particularly China), what to expect in real business settings and how not to get 'lost in translation'.

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Debra Meiburg's guides to the wine trade in China

Latest update: 03 Apr 2018

These reports are comprehensive guides to the wine trade in the main Chinese markets

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Further reading

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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Non-levy payers/exporters
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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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