Hong Kongs Growing Taste for Wine

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The wine and spirits exhibition, Vinexpo, will return to Hong Kongs Convention & Exhibition Centre 25 - 27 May 2010.

Vinexpo Asia Pacific 2010 incorporates an extensive programme of seminars and events in which international auctioneers Christie's will also participate this year reflecting significant growth of Asian buyers at prominent wine auctions worldwide.

Mr David Elswood, Christie's International Head of Wine Department, will be addressing at the Vinexpo Asia Pacific Academy on 27th May. And immediately after the Exhibition, on 28th May, Christie's will be staging its wine auction in Hong Kong.

"As the world's leading auction business, Christie's plays a crucial role within the wine industry. Our long-standing collaboration with Vinexpo in the past now takes us to Hong Kong, where we continue to develop this region through outreach, education and networking," said Mr Elswood.

Hong Kong wine consumption increased by 75.9% from 2004-2008, and the Vinexpo / The IWSR study forecasts continued growth of 70.8% between 2009 and 2013 reaching 4.793 million 9-litre cases, equivalent of 57.5 million bottles.

The study noted significant growth in Hong Kong consumption since duty on wine was abolished by the Hong Kong government in February 2008.

 The decrease in taxes makes cheaper wines more popular, it noted, with marked growth in sales of wine priced under US$10 (HK$78).

Between 2008 and 2013, consumption of wines priced at less than US$5 per bottle is expected to increase the most and is estimated to attain a growth of 166.5%.

Hong Kong consumers predominantly prefer red wines, accounting for 80.6% of sales. White wines account for 16.1% and ross 3.3%.

All market segments are growing, but red wines are expected to grow faster than the others between 2009 and 2013, reported the Vinexpo / The IWSR study.

One in three bottles of wine drunk in Hong Kong comes from France, which is the leading supplier to the market, with growth of 41.8% between 2004 and 2008.

But competing markets are catching up. Over the same period, Chilean wine imports grew by 170.5%, while Australian and American wine sales doubled.

Consumption of spirits is meanwhile expected to stabilise in Hong Kong between 2009 and 2013, after negligible 3.2% growth from 2004- 2008. Whisky and vodka are among the few imported spirits to gain any ground, as the vast majority of spirits consumed in Hong Kong are local beverages, the study reported.

Deceleration in spirits sales across Asia, the worlds leading consumer region which in 2008 accounted for 50.6% of global sales, is especially hitting brandy and whisky.

Asia, and particularly China and India, have become key growth markets for the worlds wine and spirits industry, said Mr Robert Beynat, Chief Executive of Vinexpo Asia Pacific.

Together, China and Hong Kong have meanwhile been declared the main markets of growth in global wine consumption posting the highest worldwide growth in wine consumed: 8.72 million more cases of still light wine drunk in one year.

This trend recurred in 2009 with growth of 5.29 million 9-litre cases. According to latest confirmed sales, China and Hong Kong accounted for 68.9% of all still light wines consumed in Asia and 3% of total world wine consumption in 2008, with the trend continuing in 2009.

China has now officially become not only the worlds 8th largest wine consumer, but also the 10th largest producer in 2008. By 2013, China is expected to become the 7th largest wine consumer in the world.

Wines made in China currently account for 88.2% of the national market. Growth of 26.7% is expected from 2009-2013.

Japan is the second largest wine-consuming nation in Asia, but with only moderate growth, while Indias growth is eye-catching, predicted to double between 2009 and 2013.

Asia Pacific accounts for 6.6% of all wine drunk in the world, with wine sales reaching US$7 billion in 2009. Consumption over the decade from 2004-2013 is predicted to grow by more than North America over the same period.

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