China is the one of the leading import markets of the future
In 2016 China was the fourth biggest import market behind Germany (129.23 million 9-litre cases) the UK and the USA. In five years, reaching 94.46 million cases of imported wines by then, China will overtake the USA (85.76 million) and become the third biggest import market.
The growth of Chinese imports in 2020 will represent 72% of the worldwide wine imports growth.
A valuable market
China is expected to overtake the UK as the second most valuable wine market by 2020, with the category forecast to increase by over 40% between 2016 and 2020, compared to just 0.2% in the UK. Much of this value growth will come through the burgeoning mainstream segment – standard brands are expected to grow by over 10% by 2020-. Premium products should also benefit as the wealthier middle class continues to expand. Overall, the Chinese still light wine market is expected to reach $21.26 billion by 2020.
China starts playing a role in Sparkling wine consumption
Since 2016 China counts amongst the Top 10 sparkling wine importers ( 10th rank), but the imported volumes are still low: 1.53 cases of sparkling wine imported to China in 2016, compared to 12.5million imported to the UK.
If sparkling wines only stand for 1% of wines consumed in China, their consumption grows faster than that of still wines: +41% between 2016 and 2020 compared to +19% for still wines. Sparkling wine is particularly popular with women and younger consumers, who are becoming increasingly important in the drinks market.
Chinese market’s key suppliers
With 22.20 million cases of French wines imported to China in 2016, France will remain a leader, even if its market share has probably peaked and will slightly decline.
Australian wines should see growth accelerate as tariffs were abolished following a free trade deal that came into effect in 2015. The Vinexpo / IWSR study forecasts a 121% growth of Australian wines between 2016 and 2020to reach 19 million cases on a five year horizon.
Chilean wines will show the biggest increase between 2016 and 2020, and should reach 16.58 million imported cases.
Hong Kong wine market frequency increasing
Wine was up 4.9% in 2015, to 3.6 million nine-litre cases, and has already increased by 15.5% between 2011 and 2015.
The Vinexpo/ IWSR study projects a continuing consumption growth between 2016 and 2020, yet at a slower pace 9.3%
Red is overwhelmingly more popular among local consumers and represents a market share of 84% in 2016. White wine accounts for 13.7% of total still light wine consumption, with expats consuming a disproportionate share. Rosé is growing from a small base.
1 in four wines imported to Hong Kong is a French wine: French wines continue to be the most popular, led by Bordeaux. French still wines represent 25% of the market share, and French sparkling wines 69%. Australia is the second most-popular country of origin for still wine (20% of market share, though now number one in the mass market) and enjoys the advantage of geographical proximity. The third rank is held by the USA (17% of market shares).