U.S. wine exports to China were up 14 percent in value to $38.4 million for the first six months of 2018, January through June, compared with the same time period last year, despite the continued threat of increased China tariffs.
“California vintners have a long-term commitment to the China market, and Wine Institute continues to execute a full slate of promotional activities there to support our wine exports,” said Linsey Gallagher, Wine Institute vice president of international marketing, in a statement. “While increased tariffs are challenging, Chinese consumers are clearly attracted to California wines and appreciate the high quality and great diversity of wines from the Golden State.”
Demand for California wines in China is driving sales supported by activities of Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program team in China. The program features California wines educational master classes in several second and third tier cities throughout China, a Greater China Vintner Tour in October with stops in Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Chengdu, Wuhan, Taipei and Tokyo, a strong presence at the ProWine China tradeshow taking place Nov. 13-15 in Shanghai and also at the Tang Jia Hui Trade Show taking place March 26-28, 2019, in Chengdu.
China threatened to impose an additional 25 percent retaliatory tariff on U.S. wine exports on Aug. 3 in response to a U.S. government proposal to increase tariffs on imports of Chinese goods related to intellectual property. This proposed tariff on bottled wine would be added to the 15 percent retaliatory tariff for U.S. government actions on Chinese steel and aluminum imports enacted in April. Bulk wine imports would face an additional 10 percent tariff. The retaliatory tariffs could go into effect if the United States places additional tariffs on Chinese goods entering the U.S. market.
Total U.S. wine exports worldwide were up 2.7 percent by value to $708 million through June 2018. By volume, exports are up 1.7 percent to 21.3 million cases for the six months.