China will continue to be the world's fastest growing wine consumption market with the native adults drinking an average of 1.4 litres of wine a year at present, according to a new study that presents an in-depth analysis of world wine and spirits consumption, production and trade trends.
China's wine drinking had increased by 142.1 percent over the period from 2007 to 2011 to a total of 159.25 million cases or 1.91 billion bottles, according to an AFP report, citing wine and spirits trade fair organizer Vinexpo. China is currently the fifth biggest wine consumer in the world.
Demand for wine has surged significantly in China recently, as the world's second-largest economy witnessed an increase in personal wealth that boosted consumers' demand for foreign products.
Nevertheless, the rate of growth is expected to slow down to 39.6 percent between 2012 and 2016. Still, a total of 252 million cases of wine would be sold annually in China, including Hong Kong, in 2016.
Vicenxpo chief executive Robert Beynat said the slowdown in China's wine consumption was a natural correction after the explosion in demand in recent years.
He expects China to become the world's sixth largest wine producer in 2016, ahead of Chile and Australia.
China is also the fourth largest importer of wines by volume, and the biggest consumer of spirits, according to the study. French wines account for about 48 percent of wine imports volume.
During the 2012-2016 period, wine consumption growth in the US, the world's biggest wine market, will be 12.2 percent, Vinexpo noted. Meanwhile, the growth rate will go down in France, where a 3 percent decline in projected in 2016.
The study, which covers 28 producer countries and 114 wine and spirits markets, was released as Vinexpo is preparing to hold its annual fair in Bordeaux, France, in June.