A leading drinks association has accused Europe’s winemakers of dumping subsidized produce after a surge wine imports to China.
The China Alcoholic Drinks Association has now called on the Ministry of Commerce to investigate the huge rise in imports, claiming that some wines are being sold below cost price, subjecting domestic producers to unfair competition.
China Customs reported that wine imports increased 65-percent year-over-year in 2011 to 63 million gallons, continuing the buying spree that has seen a six-fold increase in imports over the last five years.
Analysts said the claims could be part of a wide-ranging trade dispute between EU and China over subsidies and market access across a number of verticals.
A huge majority of the Chinese wine import market consists of red wine produced in France and distributed from Hong Kong, which has emerged in recent years as the world’s largest center for wine auctions in recent years because of ease of access to Mainland China.
Wine imports to China from the EU increased from 9 million gallons in 2008 to 44 million gallons last year.
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