Chinese buyers are in Bordeaux this month sourcing wine to drink during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
According to industry insiders, they are looking for wine already in bottle – such as the 2005 vintage – in addition to the 2007 futures.
‘This will certainly not be a speculative vintage,’ said Jean-Luc Thunevin, negociant and owner of Château de Valandraud in St Emilion. ‘This means that US – and to some extent UK – buyers will be less interested. But it opens the market for those looking for wine to drink now.’
Fabrice Matysiak, buyer from French supermarket group Auchan, told decanter.com, ‘We are confident that this year they will be room for negotiations. Even if chateaux do not want to lower their prices, they may be more willing to offer better payment terms or other incentives for buying in volume.’
Ida Huang, a buyer who sells to high end hotels, restaurants and private clients in Beijing and Shanghai, said the “Olympic Effect” would influence purchases across the board.
‘We are looking to buy twice as much en primeur as last year, to meet higher long-term demand,’ she said. ‘But we are also looking for ready-to-deliver wines to cater for the greater demand that the Olympics are creating.’
The Chinese market entered into top 10 for Bordeaux exports for the first time in 2007 – with an increase of 82% in volume over 2006 and 158% in value of €45m.
Written by Jane Anson