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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Wednesday, March 03 2010. 16:06

China the Asian Wine Consuming Giant

The current eighth largest wine consuming China is expected to become the world's seventh with 105 million cases demand  by 2013, according to a Vinexpo study released on Tuesday, despite a relative modest growth rate of 32 percent from 2009-13, as compared to the 100 percent growth in India, Asia’s fastest growing wine market .

"Asia, particularly China (including Hong Kong) and India have become key growth markets for the world's wine and spirits industry," said Robert Beynat, CEO of Vinexpo Asia-Pacific, being held in Hong Kong on May 25-27.

Imported wines only accounted for 11.8 percent of China's consumption in 2008, with France being the largest overseas supplier. But their market share will climb to about 15.8 percent in 2013, according to Vinexpo, says a report by AFP.

Within Asia, India is expected to be the fastest-growing wine market, with annual consumption projected to double between 2009 and 2013, the study showed. This is followed by Hong Kong, whose demand for wine is expected to surge 72 percent over the next three years.

One in three bottles of wine drunk in Hong Kong comes from France, the findings indicated. Hong Kong does not produce any wine whereas India is fast becoming a wine producing nation, with over 80% of the wines being fermented or bottled in India. 

The report does not highlight the fact that the base of wine drinkers in India is miniscule at less than 1.5 millions in 2009. Even the conservatively estimated compounded annual rate of under 20% (doubling in 4 years) will mean a total consumption of under 3 million cases. Most pessimists in India agree that the annual growth rate will be more than 25%. 

The study attributed the significant growth of consumption in Hong Kong to the government's decision to abolish wine duty in 2008 to establish the city as an international wine hub. "The decrease in taxes makes cheaper wines more popular," the study noted, with marked growth in sales of wine priced under 10 US dollars.

Auction house giants Sotheby's and Christie's both had already announced last year that Hong Kong had overtaken New York and London as the world's largest market in the auction market. Sotheby's raised 14.3 million dollars from just two auctions in Hong Kong last year, almost double the figure raised by eight wine sales held in London till late October.

The potential for increase in the annual wine consumption in the 500 million  case Indian wine and spirits market is quite large- a significant growth dependent on the government policies at the center and state level-including the taxation policy.


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