Australia has entered autumn in mid-April, and in several major wine regions such as the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale in South Australia, grapes have almost been harvested and major wineries are entering the 2018 winemaking season.
Image from: Internet
Several buses shuttled through wineries of all sizes in the wine region, carrying more than 100 wine distributors from China. As representatives who came to attend the China-Australia Wine Forum, these front-line operators in the wine industry have come to visit the production areas.
The latest statistics released by Wine Australia show that in the 12 months to March 2018, total Australian wine exports were close to a record at 844 million liters, up 10 percent year-on-year, and exports reached A$2.65 billion ($2.07 billion), up 16 percent year-on-year and the highest in 10 years. Of these, Australian wine exports to China grew 51% to A$1.04 billion (US$810 million). Chinese market demand has become the main driving force behind the growth of Australian wine exports.
The Australian National Wine Centre in the heart of Adelaide is feeling the heat from the Chinese market. After visiting wineries in several well-known regions, Chinese distributors gathered here for an industry forum called Mellow South Australia to hear authoritative analysis from industry professionals from both Australia and China.
In his speech at the forum, Wang Xinguo, president of the China Wine Distribution Association, pointed out that Australian wine has performed well in China in recent years, with rapid growth in market share. five years ago, Australian wine accounted for only 10% of China"s share, but by 2017 it had risen to 25%, becoming the second largest source of imports after France.
Wang Xinguo said an important reason for the rapid growth of Australian wine in the Chinese market is that with the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement coming into effect, the tariff for Australian wine entering the Chinese market has fallen rapidly, with the tariff having been reduced to 2.8% in 2018 and will achieve zero tariff in 2019.
Wang Zuming, secretary general of the Wine Professional Committee of the China Wine Distribution Association, analyzed that after reshuffling and adjustment, the Chinese wine market has restarted after 2014. At present, the Chinese wine market is fully competitive, and product quality, brand building and marketing will play an important role in the future market competition.
It is predicted that the population of regular wine drinkers in China will grow from less than 50 million today to 200 million in the next five years, with 35 million middle-income people joining the army of wine lovers.
Some analysts believe that with Chinese consumers' growing awareness of wine, Australian boutique wines will be favored by the market. It is seeing this trend that well-known domestic wine companies such as Luzhou Laojiao and Zhang Yu Wine Company have invested in holding wineries in South Australia to gain more upstream resources.
Chinese Australian entrepreneur Wei Li said in an interview that Chinese people's demand for a better life is growing, and so is their demand for wine. The Chinese wine market has entered the era of branding, which will be a historic opportunity for the development of enterprises.