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Monday 23 October 2023

China news sees optimism return to the Australian wine industry

There were toasts all round in the Australian wine industry today after Prime Minister Albanese announced that China has agreed to a review of the 220% import duties currently imposed on Australian bottled wine.

There has been an oversupply of Australian wine over the past three years after Chinese markets virtually closed.

"This is great; all Australian winemakers are very happy about this," said Mitchell Taylor, managing director Taylors Wines, talking to Channel 9.

"We've been suffering for the past three years."

Treasury Wine Estates CEO Tim Ford said: “It’s great to see an agreement for an expedited pathway forward to allow our Australian brands and wine to be sold in the Chinese market.

"There are only positives to come out of a favourable review, for the Chinese consumer, customers, and the wine category, as well as for the Australian wine industry and TWE.

"We're well placed to rebuild our Australian wine export business to China should tariffs be removed at the end of the review period."

NSW Wine Industry Association president Mark Bourne echoed that the announcement was good news for the entire industry.

“This is an encouraging step forward that will hopefully lead to the removal of Chinese import duties on Australian wine,” Bourne said.

“It is currently a very difficult time for the wine industry. Following several seasons of challenging weather events and the Covid pandemic, we are now facing worldwide falling consumer demand and an oversupply of wine.

"The announcement of a potential pathway to resolve the multi-year trade dispute, and the reopening of the Chinese market, is positive news for many grape growers and winemakers.”

It has been reported the Chinese Government’s review may take five months to complete.

“Under the current circumstances, we are hopeful that the proposed approach is the best way for the Australian wine industry to achieve its desired result within the shortest time frame.” 

Prior to the imposition of crippling import duties in 2020, the value of Australian wine exports to China were $1.2 billion annually.

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