Comment: Chinese tariffs on Australian wine could be a boon for Singapore wine lovers

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There is also hope that the Indian market may grow, now that a new trade deal is in place, cutting tariffs on premium Australian wine by half to 75%. The excitement is tempered by the fact that only around 3 million of its 1.38 billion people regularly drink wine.

Despite its small size, Singapore is becoming a bigger market than ever. Import AU$166 million worth of Australian wines in 2021 nearly double that of 2020 Singapore spends as much on Australian wine as the other four largest Asian markets (Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan) combined. In fact, Singapore is now the fifth largest export market for Australian wines in the world.

In the absence of the Chinese customer, a drinker from Singapore might have hoped for more competitive prices. Unfortunately, this did not happen given increased logistics costs and delays in shipments resulting from the global freight crisis and rising fuel prices, among other factors.

What we are seeing is greater access to exceptional Australian wines that might otherwise have found their way to China. Singapore-based drinkers can “expect more choice from better, higher and more specialized Australian producers,” Matthew Lonergan, co-founder of Singapore fine wine distributor Pivene, told me.

“While still a popular category in Singapore, Australian wine is often seen as a relatively mainstream choice, built around familiar brands from mainstream multinational retailers who eagerly play on pricing and mass distribution in commercial and retail environments. retail,” Lonergan said.

“The real opportunity now is for a recalibration of Australian wine, as far as its perception and positioning go.”

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