Food Drink

SA Government rolls out $1.85M support package to reinvigorate wine exports to China

The South Australian Government has announced a $1.85 million support package for the state’s wine exporters, following China’s decision to remove all trade restrictions on Australian wine. The package aims to re-establish South Australia as a Chinese market leader and help stabilise Australia-China trade relations.

The South Australian Government has pledged $1.85 million in a support package intended for SA wine exporters and grape growers. The announcement comes subsequent to China deciding to lift all trade restrictions on Australian wine. This decision follows the stabilization of trade relations between the two countries.

The support package will be distributed over the course of the next two years, providing SA’s wine sector with valuable insights into the market and the resources to re-engage with China in a risk-managed environment. This provides a potential boost to SA’s reputation as a market leader in China and assist in the broader stabilisation of trade and economic relations between Australia and China.

Previously, before the inception of tariffs in 2020, China was the largest exporter of SA’s wine, with exports valued at a remarkable $946.5 million. This accounted for 47.2 per cent of SA’s global wine exports. As of January 2024, wine exports to China were valued at $2.8 million, constituting 1.05 million litres.

Recent interest from Chinese importers to directly re-engage with SA’s wine exporters has been indicated. This sentiment was echoed at the recent Taste of South Australia events in China. Clare Scriven, Minister for Primary Industries, attended these events, cementing a positive stride towards reconnection.

The support package was constructed by the Department for Trade and Investment in collaboration with the South Australian Wine Industry Association and the Department of Primary Industries and Regions, South Australia. The package encompasses five key components, including ‘two-way market activation and immersion’, promotional marketing and communication campaigns, appointing a specialised wine export advisor, technical cooperation, and resources for exporter capability building.

In an effort to assist the ‘two-way market activation and immersion’, the Department for Trade and Investment and its counterparts will facilitate opportunities for SA’s wine exporters to attend vital in-market industry events in China over the next couple of years. Additionally, they will coordinate familiarisation visits for leading Chinese wine importers to gain a better understanding of the unique characteristics of SA’s wine regions.

Further promoting SA’s stellar wine offerings to China’s trade and high-end consumers, multi-platform marketing and communication campaigns will be aligned to peak consumption periods. This also includes key trade events and celebratory periods. To facilitate this process, a Shanghai-based Wine Export Advisor will be assigned to support market activation and immersion programs for the coming two years.

Since China and South Australia share a long historical friendship encompassed by scientific, technical and research exchanges in the wine sector, technical cooperation activities will be pursued to deepen this collaboration. Numerous market insight workshops will be held to build exporter capability and to provide risk management advice.

With the tariffs now lifted, the Government has conducted China Market Insights Workshops for nearly 200 South Australian wine industry businesses. These workshops covered multifaceted aspects including market conditions, changes in customer preferences, the Chinese wine industry’s preferences and prescription of distribution channels, as well as cultural awareness.

Several measures have been put in place to stabilise the relationship with China, including the removal of various trade impediments on several Australian products since last May. This triumvirate includes coal, cotton, timber, barley, and oaten hay. The recent official visit to China by Peter Malinauskas, Premier, and Clare Scriven, Minister for Primary Industries, generated positive interest.

In an effort to utilise the momentum and foster the relationship further, the Governor of South Australia, Her Excellency, the Honorable Frances Adamson AC, will visit China in April.

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