China has become the n° 1 export market for Bordeaux

China was recently seen (feared?) as the bogeyman, the 800-pound gorilla.
And one that was thought by many to be mostly imaginary…

But the figures are there, published in today’s Sud-Ouest:
Export : la Chine est devenue le premier client des bordeaux" onclick=";return false;

In one year, from November 2009 to the 31st of October 2010, China (including Hong Kong) imported 251,000 hectolitres of wine worth 333 million euros.

Forget the stories about Lafite and Les Carruades. The Chinese market is about so much more than that! They are bringing in an ocean of Bordeaux, overtaking the UK, the US, Germany, and every other foreign market (exports account for 1/3 of total Bordeaux output).

Furthermore, Hong Kong is becoming a platform for all of Asia.
Westerners are going through a recession? Well, it seems as though there is a ready and willing market in China to take up much of the slack. This outlet was viewed as “hypothetical, at best”, by many sceptics.
They have been proved wrong.

The article points out the problem with counterfeit wine, helped by the fact that few Chinese can read Latin alphabets.

Best regards,
Alex R.

What percentage is divided between futures/new vintages and backvintage being reallocated via auction?

We know that the auction scene in HK is booming. A recent Acker mailer I received confirmed that their auction sales in HK overtook that of NY ($63.2mm in sales CYTD). I would guess that ~85+% of these auctions are Bordeaux lots. If you extrapolate and include the other auction houses who do business in HK, an appreciable percentage of that 333mm euro figure may be directly attributable to auction activity.

With that being said, as the wine culture continues to grow there, one could only assume that increased allocations will flow eastward on a futures basis as well, esp. if it makes financial sense to purchase futures rather than backfilling.

Congratulations. You appear to be very proud of this “fact” and seem to take it personally. The article reads like a marketing blurb without any of the raw data points. Lumping HK and the mainland into the same bucket for generalizations about what these 1.5B people are consuming and spending their $$ on is simply silly. One is a very densely populated small island(s) where wealth abounds on every corner, the other much larger area is still primarily rural and poor in nature. Trust me the masses on the mainland are not running out buying Bdx.

I personally don’t care one way or the other, but the tone of your post caught my attention. It reads like an adolescent jumping up and down saying “see I told you so” and based on the linked article I didn’t see anything to get all excited about.

Les chiffres sont là. En un an, de novembre 2009 à fin octobre 2010, le couple Chine-Hong Kong a importé 251 000 hectolitres de vins de Bordeaux pour un total de 333 millions d’euros.

After doing the math this comes to a whopping 9.95 Euros a bottle


You wrote:
“Congratulations. You appear to be very proud of this “fact” and seem to take it personally”.

Gosh, I don’t know where in the world you got that from!
This news is very important to Bordeaux, and I thought it was good to share.
Especially at a time when the great growths are so expensive, and people make the perpetual misake of confusing these wines with “Bordeaux”.

Reports of strong Chinese demand are hardly new, but these were previously nebulous and unquantifiable, with some people pooh-poohing - without having the facts.
The figures are there now, which is why I am puzzled when you write that “The article reads like a marketing blurb without any of the raw data points”.
Do you read French? I do, and I don’t pick up on anything like what you say…

Furthermore, please don’t forget that Hong Kong IS China, so it is hardly stretching things to include it in the figures!

Where we do agree is that the impressive figures must be taken in light of China’s total population.
Still, China has become a major player, and is not longer just a theoretical one.
And the sales progression in that country is pretty big news in these parts, even if it makes you yawn.

Best regards,
Alex R.


•China : 137 000 hectolitres (+97%) with a turnover of 74 million Euros (+40%)
•Japan : 116 000 hectolitres (-18%) with a turnover of 92 million Euros (-28%)
•Hong Kong : 42 000 hectolitres (+24%) with a turnover of 109 million Euros (+46%)
•Singapore : 10 000 hectolitres (-38%) with a turnover of 19 million Euros (-25%)
North America
• U.S.: 116,000 hectolitres (-27%) with a turnover of 139 million Euros (-44%)
• Canada: 69,000 hectolitres (-9%) with a turnover of 53 million Euros (-21%)

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2009 +many%=2010 [shock.gif]

So, the average bottle of wine sold in Hong Kong is five times as expensive as the average in the rest of mainland China. That’s a BIG difference!


The real market for ‘fine wine’ in HK is much tinier than the figures suggest. Ask any merchant now based in HK - 10 years ago there were only about a dozen (with licences), now there are 2-3,000! - HK is the lower-tax (illegal) backdoor into mainland China.

My home,was little HK.(price /bottle)

58,000 hectolitres of Bordeaux wines (-11%) were exported to Switzerland in 2009, with a turnover
of 98 million Euros (-35%).

A great deal of the wine imported into Hong Kong is then distributed elsewhere in China.

Indeed, lots is re-exported to other Asian countries.

Best regards,
Alex R.