PARIS, April 27 China is set to overtake Britain
and France to become the world's second-largest wine consumer by
value behind the United States by 2020 as consumers turn to more
middle-range wines, the International Wine & Spirit Research
(IWSR) organisation said on Thursday.
In a study for wine fair Vinexpo it forecast Chinese wine
consumption by value would rise by 40 percent between 2016 and
2020 to nearly $22 billion, still far below the United States
where demand is set to grow by 12 pct over the period to $39
In volume, however, China would remain the fifth largest
consumer of wine, both sparkling and still, behind the United
States, which took the top position from France in 2013, Germany
and Italy, the study showed.
With the market for business gifts evaporating under the
crackdown on corruption, the Chinese market is now driven by
real consumption, which extends to a rapidly expanding middle
class, Vinexpo Director Guillaume Deglise told Reuters.
The market is becoming more democratic, especially with the
surge of online sales in medium-sized cities, and benefits
mostly middle-range wines, he added.
The wine trade also enjoys increasing interest from younger
generations and women who have no appetite for the strong
distilled drinks such as baiju which have made China by far the
world's top consumer of spirits, ahead of India.
To meet the growing demand, still wine imports into China
are expected to jump by nearly 80 percent to 94.5 million
nine-litre cases by the end of the decade, IWSR said.
(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide and Pascale Denis; Editing
by Greg Mahlich)