Australian winemakers remain in a “very strong position” in China, according to Wine Australia boss Andreas Clark.

He was speaking after the United States and China signed a new trade deal which includes China buying an extra US$32 billion of agricultural products from the US over the next two years including beef and seafood.

“Perceptions of Australian wine (both as value for money and as a fine wine) are very high among Chinese urban upper-middle class imported wine drinkers and there is considerable upside,” Mr Clark says.

“There are potentially 430 million urban wine consumers but only 52 million currently drink imported wine (almost a third drink Australian wine). Adult consumption per capita of wine was 1.2 litres per annum in 2018. This is even lower at 0.5 litres per adult for imported wine. This demonstrates further room for growth.

“During 2019, Australia overtook France to become the largest importer of wine by value. Latest import figures for the year ended November 2019 provide that total value of Australian wine imports was US$846.5 million compared with France at US$709.6 million, Chile at US$344.9 million with the US at US$38.7 million.”

“Australia wine enjoys duty free access into China under our bilateral free trade agreement while we understand US wines will continue to face a 14 percent import tariff under the new arrangements between the US and China.”

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