Comments Comments

Up to 100 million wine labels a year could soon be rolling off the presses of label printers across Australia and New Zealand, as China indicates it will end its effective ban on ANZ wines.

Going back to China: Label printers optimistic that ban will end soon

The formal final decision is expected by the end of the month from Beijing, but after reviewing the wine tariffs, following the recent thaw in Sino-Australia relations, the Chinese government’s commercial board has recommended they be lifted.

The Chinese ban, set in place two and a half years ago through astronomic tariffs introduced as relations between Australia and China reached new lows, hit the wine industry hard, and local label printers suffered as a consequence. The $1.2bn annual exports in wine to China reduced to just $8.1m, wiping out a huge amount of labels, many of which featuring added margin embellishments.

The wine label sector is one of the more lucrative for label printers, with vineyards often requesting elaborate embellishments, especially for the Chinese market where Australian wine is viewed as a premium product. Losing 100 million labels overnight was a blow to the industry, but gaining them back, whilst it won’t be overnight, has sent label printers popping the corks in expectation.

The number of bottles of Australian wine exported to China before the ban was approaching 100 million a year, each with a label printed locally. That market has never been replaced, leaving label presses around the country, and particularly in the wine producing regions, sitting idle.

There were 2366 wine producers exporting to China in 2019, but today that figure is just 114. China was by far the biggest export market for Australian wine, importing more bottles than the UK, US and Canada combined. Since the introduction of the tariffs in October 2021, the Australian wine industry has suffered from large scale over production, with huge vats of wine stored or thrown away.

comments powered by Disqus