We all know that China is importing tons of Australia wine, but what really surprised us is that ”China is Australia’s largest export market for wine over $10 a litre,” according to Wine Australia. A further clear sign that China’s appetite for wine is maturing.
According to the June export data released by Wine Australia, Chinese imports in the $10-plus category almost equalled that of the US and British markets combined.
This figure does not include Hong Kong which managed to import more wine in this price bracket than the entire British market. It is worth repeating that this means China (excl. Taiwan) imports way more >$10 Australian wine than ths US and Britain combined.
More importantly, most of the growth for China came in the $20 to $50 price bracket which more than doubled from June last year.
Penfolds reports that China’s demand is driving up prices for the company’s premier wine brand across the board – not just Grange.
”The demand is constantly increasing and it outweighs what we are able to supply”. ”There are the core wines such as Grange, Bin 707, Bin 389, Bin 407 that are a focus, but it is not these wines alone. The demand is stretching from Bin 28 right through to Grange,” she says.
The coronation of China’s new status in the Penfolds world takes place in November. For the first time in nearly half a century, Penfolds will release a Bin 620 – a drop considered so exceptional its price will match that of Penfolds’ flagship label Grange. The global launch will be held in China.
China’s nouveau riche are buying premium wines in much the manner they do other luxury brands, according to a report from Asian investment group CLSA.
”Success, wealth and fame/social standing are highly regarded in Chinese culture and displaying this through watches, jewellery, apparel, cars and wine garners respect,” says the report which forecasts that China will account for 44 per cent of luxury goods sales globally by 2020, up from 15 per cent today.
CLSA says these new, young and wealthy elite are willing to pay a premium for goods with cache, ”a trend that is noticeable in the wine sector where fine wine prices increased 40 per cent during 2010”.