No complaints from China

Demand for Australian grapes from China and Hong Kong is fueling a vibrant export trade to Asia.

A Rabobank report has highlighted the “key role” of China and Hong Kong in Australia’s wine grape price recovery, noting how the performance of the China market is a barometer of the red wine grape market.

Rabobank senior analyst Marc Soccio said this was evident in 2015 with the rebound in Chinese wine imports helping restore rising trends in wine grape prices.

“And this trend is expected to continue in 2017, with imports of Australian wine into China increasing by 41% in the six months to June 2016,” he said.

“That said, there are signs that the growth in the Chinese market for more premium red wines may be moderating, with some of that demand transitioning to lower price segments in the Chinese market, which may offer more support for commercial red wine grapes than we have seen previously,” he says.

He said the Australian wine grape industry had entered a “red dawn”, with prices rising from 2011 lows and further appreciation appearing likely in the near term

On a global level, Mr Soccio said, supply was set to contract in 2016, with the northern hemisphere harvest expected to fall on the short side in France, Spain and Italy.

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