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China set to move up in rankings of world wine consumers

China and Hong Kong will the the eighth biggest wine consumer in the world by 2012, according to research commissioned by Vinexpo.

Taking an ever bigger slice of the US$100bn world wine industry, China joined the ‘top ten club’ of the biggest wine consumers last year.

France is still the biggest supplier of wine to Asia, but Australia, Chile and the US are rapidly increasing their market share.

The latest forecasts, carried out by researchers IWSC commissioned by Vinexpo, has China overtaking Romania and the Russian Federation to reach number eight position in five years.

Researchers reckon the market for wine in China will grow by 70% between 2006 and 2011, Vinexpo chief executive Robert Beynat said.

At present France and Italy, with 12.7% and 12.6% of the world market respectively, are the world’s top consumers. They are followed by the US (11.1%), Germany (10.3%), the UK (5.4%), Argentina, Spain, Russia, Romania and China, with 2.2% of the world market.

The forecast is that the US will be the biggest consumer by volume by 2012.

Vinexpo has commissioned market research and forecasts for 11

years and has used IWSR to produce them since 2002. Beynat said yesterday that over five years they reckoned on being accurate to within 0.2%.

There have been mistakes, he said. ‘We were wrong about the Chinese market in 2005 when we predicted a 36% growth. We have changed our minds since then and now predict a 70% rise.’

Of the Asian countries, China and Hong Kong command 62.7% of the market. They are followed by Japan (28%), and then South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, India, Other Asia and Malaysia.

India has 0.8% of the Asian market but is predicted to grow by 200% over the next five years, Beynat said.

The top five exporters to Asia are France (with 39.3 % of the market), the US (13.8%), Italy (13.2%), Australia (10.2%) and Chile (7.6%).

Growth rates for these countries between 2002 and 2006 are radically different, with Australia, Chile, and the US showing the most dramatic acceleration (128.4%, 45.1% and 40.9% respectively), and Italy the only country to lose market share, dropping -3.7%.

Vinexpo Asia-Pacific takes place in Hong Kong from 27-29 May 2008.

Written by Adam Lechmere

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