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“The world is drinking more and it is drinking better”

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On the presentation of the Vinexpo Asia-Pacific 2012 survey in Hong Kong yesterday, Vinexpo Chief Executive Robert Beynat predicted that “wine and spirits consumers are becoming more discerning, opting for pricier bottles.” The Vinexpo Asia-Pacific will be held in Hong Kong from May 29 - 31 as “Hong Kong has emerged as Asia’s wine drinking capital as well as regional hub for the trade,” said Dominique Heriard Dubreuil, the Chairman of Vinexpo, that was created in Bordeaux in 1981.
A Vinexpo study on wine and spirit consumption traces a five-year forecast up to 2015. As Mr Beynat explained, “previous consumption forecasts have proved highly accurate.” Part of the results of the study is that China has joined the world’s top 10 wine markets while expecting to become the sixth largest wine-producer by 2015. Right now, the main producer countries are France, Italy and Spain. The study found China’s wine consumption, including Hong Kong, grew by 33.4 percent in just one year from 2009 and 2010. The study also predicts that Asia – defined as China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia – will account for more than half of growth in worldwide wine consumption from 2011-2015.

Over the same period, the makers of “Current Trends in the International Wine and Spirits Market and Outlook to 2014” expect a limited growth of 0.41 percent in Europe, which represents 62 percent of world wine consumption. USA’s consumption is expected to increase by 10 percent. In China, red wine accounts for 91 percent of total consumption, but trends indicate that white wine consumption will grow. At the same time, China remains the largest consumer of spirits in the world, as well as the second-largest market for cognac after the USA. Though not producing any wine, Hong Kong’s average adult consumption of five liters a year is the highest in Asia. Here, French wine is the most popular one, followed by USA and Australian wine.
The total global wine consumption reached 31.68 billion bottles in 2010 and a growth of 6.17 percent is predicted. By now, Italy is number one on the list of the top 10 consumers and China occupies the sixth position. But according to the study forecast it’s the USA that will become the world’s leading wine market, ahead of Italy and France. Among exporters, France leads the wine market in terms of value, and Italy in volume. Italian wine exports increased by 30 percent between 2006 to 2010. When it comes to spirits, which is defined by more than 50 percent of alcohol, more than 60 percent of them consumed worldwide are locally made. Vodka is the most popular international one.
The survey covers 28 producing countries and 114 consuming markets. Macau’s wine market is not included; according to Mr. Beyant the wine consumption there is comparable to the one of Hong Kong. He concluded his speech with the optimistic prediction that “quality will increase everywhere.”                 

V.S.

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