Allegrini 2018

China, in the first six months of 2020 imports fell by 31%. Australia holds

The numbers that report the lockdown: collapse in April and May, recovery in June, the test is autumn, hoping for a return to normality
China, the numbers of the first half of 2020

In the first six months of 2020, wine imports into China are down by a third, very predictable, both in value and volume: 213 million bottles shipped to Beijing, 32% less than the same period in 2019, for a turnover of 752.9 million dollars, -31%. Numbers that are not surprising, and which tell of the effects of the rigid lockdown imposed by the Chinese government to contain the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to the cancellation of the New Year’s Eve, in February, and then to a slow reopening, from June, for which, however, consumers remain very cautious. The hardest months were April and May, with a drop in imports, in value terms, of 44% and 53%, while in June things slowly started to improve again, with the drop in sales, in value terms, which stopped at -28.2%. The problem, as the portal of “Decanter China”, the first Master Sommelier of China, and founder of Grape Wine Education, Lu Yang, reminds us, “will be the figures for July and August, traditionally not very relevant for the consumption of imported wine, while in autumn, also thanks to Mid-Autumn Festival and China National Day (both on October 1), things could return to normal”.
Among exporting countries (and in the absence of data from Italy, which had closed the first quarter with a 14.8% drop in the still bottled segment, which stood at 30.5 million dollars, and -31.7% in bubbles, at 3.5 million dollars), Australia, now China’s leading wine partner, is holding up to the impact of Covid-19: in the first 6 months of 2020 the value of shipments remained unchanged in the same period of 2019 (+0.7%), with volumes down by 17%, and in June the bottled wine lost only 5.8% compared to the same month of the previous year, showing a unique capacity to recover. Such as to outperform France, which, in the same period, shipped 47.7 million liters of bottled wine, for 219.6 million dollars, a drop of 32% in volume and 37.7% in value. Worse is the USA, which is also burdened by trade tensions and the war of duties on the Washington-Beijing axis, which translate into a drop in shipments of 35.7% in volume and 46.4% in value. The only country which, as reported by the China Association for Imports & Exports of Wine & Spirits, has seen an important evolution in shipments to China, was Argentina, which is registering a real bulk boom: +654%, which however only translates into +20.6% in value, for a drop in the average price of -84%.

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