(Yicai Global) Jan. 17 -- China's wine imports fell in 2018 as the market showed signs of saturation following a multi-year growth spurt.
Wines imported from several countries declined, Beijing Business Daily reported yesterday, citing industry insiders. Imports from France fell 8.8 percent to USD1.1 billion, those from Australia dipped 3.5 percent to USD703 million and Spanish wine imports plummeted 20.1 percent to USD155 million.
Growth in wine-importing channels and companies was faster than the rise in consumers, according to the report, which did not provide related data.
A cool down in imports could give domestic wines a breather, one of the insiders said. Competition between wine distributors is forcing importers to slash their profit margins, and some are now looking to selling more locally made vinos, he added.
But domestic brands lack marketing channels and customer loyalty, which is preventing them from growing. If they want to step up and compete with their foreign counterparts, they need to improve distribution and marketing and the quality of goods they produce, the report added.
Editor: James Boynton