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China has been one of the most important sources of growth in global wine demand this century, accounting for 7% of the world's wine consumption and imports by 2017, or four times its 2005 shares. But China's per capita wine consumption peaked in 2012, has fallen every year since 2017, and in 2022 was one-third of its peak, and its imports have more than halved since 2017. Certainly, the COVID-19 disruption and associated slowdown in China's income growth would account for some of that. However, the fall in China's alcohol consumption began three years earlier, and between 2019 and 2022, the fall was considerably larger for wine (47%) than for spirits (17%) and beer (3%). Thus, wine's share of alcohol consumption in China fell by two-fifths over those three years. The article speculates on the reasons behind the dramatic downturn in this globally important market and finishes by imagining future trends and drawing implications for wine-exporting countries.
Over the past three decades, tariff protection to farmers has fallen and partly been replaced by domestic support, whilst support for farmers in some emerging economies has grown. Against that backdrop, this paper provides new estimates of national economic impacts of global agricultural tariffs and domestic supports. Using the latest global economy-wide GTAP (Global Trade Analysis Project) model calibrated to 2017, we simulate (a) the removal of food and agricultural domestic supports and agri-food tariffs and (b) the removal also of tariffs on imports of non-agricultural goods. We find that agricultural support policies are still an important part of the global welfare cost of all goods’ trade-restrictive policies (albeit only half as costly as in 2001), and tariffs still dominate the global welfare cost of all farm-support programs. That farm support could be re-instrumented to relieve natural resource and environmental stresses, boost food and nutrition security, and alleviate poverty and income inequality.
Another quiet revolution is taking place in the alcoholic beverage markets: a trend toward lower-alcohol and even no-alcohol beverages, especially in the world's higher-income countries. This new trend adds to the long-term consumer trend in affluent countries of substituting quality for quantity in many of their purchases (premiumization), which, in the case of alcoholic beverages, has been driven largely by a desire for a healthier lifestyle. More-affluent consumers also desire a greater variety than is typically available from large producers of regular products, which has led to a craft beverage revolution. Both desires—for lower-alcohol beverages and a greater variety of quality offerings—are driving this so-called low- or no-alcohol revolution. The trend is just beginning to show up in wine (and spirits) markets, but it began developing much earlier in beer markets. The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent of the latter and the consumer forces behind it. Since Australian brewers are leading the way globally in building various Lo-No beer categories, and thereby contributing substantially to lowering that nation's alcohol consumption, its trends are highlighted and compared with global trends. The paper concludes by drawing out lessons and prospects for lower-alcohol beer and wine.
This study uses gravity models to explain bilateral patterns of global wine trade since 1962. This is, to our knowledge, the first study on global wine trade covering the second wave of globalization as a whole. The results suggest that the impact of distance, common language, and common colonizer post-1945 on wine trade was lower in the 1991–2019 period than in the 1962–1990 period. We also use gravity models to explain the impact on bilateral wine trade patterns of similarities across countries in the mix of winegrape varieties in their vineyards. Although our models do not allow us to identify causality, the results suggest that countries trade more wine with each other the closer their mix of winegrape varieties.
A proposal to reform the United Kingdom's excise duty on alcohol is under consideration during 2022. The proposal would change the tax base from volume of product to volume of alcohol, which would see a fall in the tax on sparkling wine (by about one-fifth), a rise in the tax on fortified wines of 18% alcohol by volume (ABV) (by about one-sixth), and table wines with more (less) than 11.5% ABV would become dearer (cheaper). With taxes on most beers unchanged and taxes on spirits lowered slightly, the pattern of UK wine consumption and imports would alter considerably. This article draws on a global model of national alcoholic beverage markets to estimate the likely bilateral trade effects of this proposed reform to UK excise duties. It compares them with the trade effects of the United Kingdom's first two bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs), following the post-Brexit EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which allows Australian and New Zealand vignerons tariff-free access to the UK wine market. Those two FTAs are estimated to cause the United Kingdom to import far more wine than is lost by the proposed changes in UK excise duties.
This article provides an empirical case study of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on global beverage markets, particularly the wine sector. Both international trade and domestic sales have been adversely affected by temporary shifts away from on-premise sales by social distancing measures and self-isolation that led to the closure of restaurants, bars, and clubs, plus declines in international travel and tourism. Partly offsetting this has been a boost to off-premise and direct e-commerce sales. We first estimate those impacts in 2020 and their expected partial recovery in 2021 using a new model of global beverage markets. Further recent disruption to the global wine trade has been the imposition by China in late 2020 of prohibitive tariffs on its imports of bottled wine from Australia. Its diversionary and trade-reducing effects are compared with those due to COVID-19. (JEL Classifications: C63, D12, F14, F17, Q17)
This article describes a new empirical model of the world's markets for alcoholic beverages and, to illustrate its usefulness, reports results from projections of those markets from 2016–2018 to 2025 under various scenarios. It not only revises and updates a model of the world's wine markets (Wittwer, Berger, and Anderson, 2003), but also adds beer and spirits so as to capture the substitutability of those beverages among consumers. The model has some of the features of an economy-wide computable general equilibrium model, with international trade linking the markets of its 44 countries and seven residual regions. It is used to simulate prospects for these markets by 2025 (business-as-usual), which points to Asia's rise. Then two alternative scenarios to 2025 are explored: one simulates the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU); the other simulates the effects of the recent imposition of additional 25% tariffs on selected beverages imported by the United States from several EU member countries. Future applications of the model are discussed in the concluding section. (JEL Classifications: C53, F11, F17, Q13)
Rates of alcohol taxation, and the types of tax instruments used, vary enormously between countries and have tended to rise in recent times. Within each country, they also vary between beverages and often between qualities and styles of each beverage. This article computes consumer tax equivalents in U.S. dollars per litre of alcohol and as percentages of wholesale prices of representative beverages for 42 high- and middle-income countries. That allows comparisons across countries of taxes not just for each product on its own, but also relative to those for other alcoholic beverages. The wide dispersion of rates and differences in tax instruments across countries and products suggest differing strengths of health and welfare lobbyists and industry groups in influencing government decision-making. (JEL Classifications: D12, D62, E62, H23, I18, P46)
Lowering trade barriers would contribute to all four of the likely main goals of the United Nations’ Post-2015 development agenda: poverty alleviation, ending hunger, reducing income inequalities and strengthening global partnerships for sustainable development (United Nations 2014). Among the possible strategies to reduce remaining price- and trade-distorting measures, five current opportunities stand out. The most beneficial involves multilaterally completing the stalled Doha Development Agenda (DDA) of the World Trade Organization (WTO). If that continues to prove to be too difficult politically to bring to a conclusion in the near future, three other opportunities considered here are the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), extending the free-trade area among the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations to include China, Japan and South Korea (ASEAN+3), and freeing up trade among all APEC countries (a free trade area of the Asia-Pacific, FTAAP). One more potential opportunity involves bringing disciplines to export restrictions to match those for import restrictions, especially for farm products.
Statistics on the wine market in countries where it is not traditionally produced or consumed are estimates using simple methods. In northeast Asia those statistics are exaggerated for a combination of several reasons. One is a labelling issue: imported bulk wine is able to be added to domestically produced wine without the front label having to declare the bottle may contain foreign product. Similar freedom applies to wine made from imported grape juice concentrate. A second (particularly in China) is a double-counting issue: domestic wine produced in one region of the country may be blended with wine produced in and packaged for final sale from another region, with both regions claiming it as their contribution to national wine output. A third possibility is a smuggling issue: some wine re-exports and imports are unrecorded. These possibilities of the wine market being exaggerated are significant for firms seeking to export to and sell in such countries, especially in the fast-growing ones of northeast Asia. This article shows the extent to which estimates for the region could change for such indicators as per capita wine consumption, wine self-sufficiency, and the region's share of global wine consumption, when alternative assumptions are made in response to these issues. (JEL classifications: F14, L66, Q13, Y10)