Chinese Wine Drinkers - Unlikely to Solve Australia's Export Woes

Observers of the heady growth in Australian exports to China from 2016 to the end of the decade ignored a downward trend in Chinese wine consumption that began in 2018. OIV statistics reveal that this trend has continued during the Covid pandemic.

Reading time: 1m

Falling Chinese Wine Consumption. Source Wine Industry Insight / OIV
Falling Chinese Wine Consumption. Source Wine Industry Insight / OIV

Australian wine producers who are banking on an early rapprochement between their government and Beijing and a post-lockdown revival to reboot their Chinese export market will not want to look at this chart. Using OIV data and posted by Lewis Perdue of Wine Industry Insight, it reveals how, after a plateau in 2016 and 2017, annual wine consumption has been falling steadily since 2018. Today it is lower than in 1998.

Australia exports to China rose while consumption fell - Source: Wine Australia
Australia exports to China rose while consumption fell - Source: Wine Australia

Also of interest to the Australians will be the fact that while Chinese consumption was dropping, their exports were rising faster than their competitors such as France and Chile, both of which have been quick to fill the space left by Australia following the imposition of huge tariffs on its wine by China.

Clearly, the impact of ongoing lockdowns and their effect on the Chinese economy have had an impact on wine consumption. Most observers optimistically expect it to recover and eventually to regain its upward momentum, but how long this will take remains to be seen. And it seems unlikely that its competitors will allow Australia to recover its previous dominant role.

Latest Articles