By Deborah Jackson, editor National Liquor News

This week’s signing of a free trade agreement with China, Australia’s third highest value wine export market, will see existing wine tariffs drawn down to zero over the next four years. 

The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia welcomes the deal, which will potentially add tens of millions of dollars to the Australian wine industry’s export earnings.

The deal follows Wine Australia’s 2015 China Roadshow, which saw more than 50 Australian wineries and brands in partnership with 35 exhibitors engage directly with influential decision makers in the Chinese trade.

Willa Yang, regional manager for Wine Australia, said the China Roadshow is critical in supporting Australian wine in China.

“The Roadshow brings Australian wineries together with the decision makers in the Chinese trade so that we can create more opportunities for Australian wines and open more local markets in China,” she said.

Free Trade Agreements like China, an upturn in consumer demand and more favourable exchange rates reinforce the Federation’s submissions to government recommending an increase in funding to promote Australian wine overseas.

Tony Battaglene, Federation International Affairs and strategy GM, said ending the import tariff in China opens the door for market expansion.

“China is currently our third largest wine export market by value, with around 44 million litres of Australian wine imported to the value of $242 million in the 12 months to March 2015,” Battaglene said.

“Clearing tariffs opens the door for growth and the wine industry looks forward to working with government and others to seize these emerging opportunities.

“Removing the import tariff will put Australia on par with Chile which is tariff free from this year and New Zealand which has had no tariff since 2012.

“It will create a level playing field when it comes to price and value and in that environment the Australian wine producer stands out in the crowd.

“As part of the deal, we expect the current import tariff of 14 per cent for bottled wine and 20 per cent for bulk wine to be phased down to zero over four years and this is very significant for those attempting to tap into the China market as well as those already with their foot in the door.”

Do you have a story or a tip for The Shout? Email the editor.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *