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China: wine imports started growing again in May. But the rest of 2022 is still negative

Italy at 59.4 million euros in the first 5 months of 2022, is the third wine exporter and has a 10% market share. France and Chile lead
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Wine imports to China over the first five months in 2022

The most recent data from the China Association for Imports and Exports of Wine & Spirits (CAWS) revealed there was a slight recovery in May, but not enough to reverse the trend. Therefore, China registered a decrease in wine imports over the first 5 months in 2022 in value, -13.7%, totaling 592.8 million dollars. Nevertheless, as mentioned above, May 2022 marked a significant rebound, equal to + 12.2% for a value of 141.8 million US dollars and 38 million liters of wine in volume. It was the first positive month, following the many long weeks of lockdown that have hit some of the leading centers in China in terms of trade and consumption; for instance, Shanghai, where Covid cases have resumed and have already raised fears of possible new closures. The spirits segment is not doing well either. During the first 5 months in 2022 it registered a drop in imports of 17.3% in volume and 14.9% in value, compared to 661.1 million US dollars over the same period in 2021. Beer, instead is doing better, and marked a limited loss, -2.77%, in value, and 265.9 million US dollars in imports.
At the moment, it is difficult give a clear reading of the May data, because on one hand, we hope it is a strong signal of the much-needed recovery in consumption, while on the other, it could be just speeding up deliveries of goods held in customs. In any case, as far as wine imports are concerned, France leads in bottling, increasing the margin on its competitors. Australia, however, as was widely predictable, has collapsed to a less than marginal market share, equal to 0.5%, because of duties — higher than 100% — the Beijing government had decided some time ago. France exported 254.2 million US dollars worth of wine to China, or 42.8% of all Chinese imports, in the period January to May 2022. France is solidly the leading position, but still has to deal with a 10% drop, 9% in value and 23.1% in volume.
WineNews analyzed the CAWS data, and Italy is in third place, at 10% market share. Shipments total 59.4 million US dollars in value, down 12%, 11.8 million liters of wine, and volumes down 11.6%, during the first five months in 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. Average prices, though, are stable, at 5.01 US dollars per liter. Chile is doing much better (2.41 euros per liter), and is in second place as wine exporter to China, plus it is the only country that has been capable of reversing the trend, and has marked growth in both values ​​and volumes - 64.3 million liters of wines, at 155 million US dollars in value over the first five months in 2022, equal to 16% increase in volume and 12% in value, and a market share that has jumped to 26.15%.
Seventy-four percent of Chilean exports are bottled wines (116.1 million US dollars), which is where Chile’s growth comes from in China, and are supposedly replacing a good chunk of Australian wine. The remaining 26% of Chilean exports are bulk wine, which remains an excellent deal and is worth 72% market share, in value. Spain has confirmed its fourth place as wine exporter to China, but it is a little further away from Italy. The Iberian country has registered a drop in shipments equal to 24% in volume and 28% in value, to 17.4 million liters of wine. Their turnover on the Chinese market is 42 million euros, which translates to just over 7% market share.
Finally, US wine exports also registered growth — 19.3%, to 20.4 million US dollars, over the first 5 months in 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. Georgia wines also did well, growing 57.3% in value over the same period, reaching 7.2 millionUS dollars, and 46.6% jump in volumes to 1.89 million liters.

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