Possible anti-dumping tax may not affect EU wine sales

Updated: 2013-07-01 16:44

By Wang Yu (chinadaily.com.cn)

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China will not impose anti-dumping duties on French wine in the next eight months, and even if the levies were imposed, the imported wine market wouldn’t be greatly affected, as European wine prices have increased 10 percent since the beginning of the year, experts said.

In early June, the Ministry of Commerce launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probe into EU wine imports. Insiders predict that tariffs may be levied at 10 percent.

In fact, European wine importers have raised prices beginning this year. “Influenced by various factors such as labor costs and climates, the price of European imported wine has risen by 10 percent early this year,” said one insider in charge of Guangdong Provincial Alcohol Industry Association's  wine branch. At the same time, the anti-dumping investigation has become an excuse for winemakers to hike the prices of their products. “An Italian winemaker which I know just used this as a pretext and has raised prices by 20 percent,” he added.

The probe will have no major impact on the retail wine market. “A large number of imported wines are low-end and less competitive. The price advantage is very important for them, so they would not increase their price at will,” he said. Moreover, the expected tariffs won’t be high. If the supply chain and consumers share the burden, there will be less chance of a great fluctuation in the price of wine.

“The composite tax rate of imported wine is fixed at 48 percent, which is really low,” one senior insider who has witnessed the development of the wine industry said. “In the early years, although the import tariff was as high as 43 percent, the wine industry still could reap staggering profits.” 

Many vendors take the opportunities of the anti-dumping investigation to attract investment as they have stocked up large quantities of imported wine, Yang Cheng Evening News reported.