Asia Pacific takes to wine

21 January, 2010

Wine sales in the Asia Pacific region are predicted to rise by 25% to nearly 1.3 billion nine-litre cases by 2013.

The region is already the world’s largest spirits market, accounting for 47% of global consumption 2006. The forecast growth in wine outstrips that of North America, which is expected to grow by 7.6% while mainland Europe is expected to show negligible growth.
The forecasts come from IWSR (the International Wine & Spirits Report) which was commissioned by Vinexpo, the wine and spirit trade-only exhibition organisers. Vinexpo Asia-Pacific opens in Hong Kong on May 25.
The value of grape wine sales in Asia Pacific is forecast to grow from US$4.75bn to $6.4bn by 2011.
Robert Beynat, Vinexpo’s ebullient chief executive, said that it is the aim of Hong Kong to become the “wine hub of Asia”. Wine consumption in Hong Kong alone is forecast to attain 33 million bottles, more than 70% of which is expected to be red wine.
The ISWR report is said to cover China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore.
“Asia is the future,” Beynat said at a press briefing on Thursday (January 21), "and Hong Kong is in the middle of all of the Asian markets. Japan remains the overall number one market followed by China and Korea.”
With the rise of India both as a producer and consumer, Beynat said China, India and Japan alone account for 90% of Asia Pacific’s alcoholic drinks sales.
Asked about the extent of the opportunity, Beynat said the Japanese drink 2.3 litres of wine per head a year, Hong Kong 3.3 and Singapore 1.9 per capita. Whereas British wine consumption has attained around 23ltr per head of population. The traditional wine producing countries, France, Spain and Italy used to drink approximately 40ltr per head. Those consumption levels have been declining.
France is the number one exporter to Asia so unsurprisingly French-based companies represent the largest proportion of Vinexpo Asia-Pacific exhibitors. Bordeaux-based Vinexpo runs the world’s largest wine and spirits show, which is held every other year in the French wine capital. Beynat said that France, Spain and Italy are expected to continue to account for about 50% of the world’s wine.
Beynat said Vinexpo Asia-Pacific was full with 750 exhibitors from 30 countries. It has taken another hall at the exhibition centre so the show will now cover 8,000 square metres. The previous exhibition two years ago attracted 8,000 visitors. Beynat is hoping to get between 9,000 and 9,500 this May.