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November 21, 2009

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Firm seals wine deals to tap growing demand

Shenzhen-based Silver Base International Development, the largest distributor of Chinese premier spirit Wuliangye, has signed agreements with several international wineries to accelerate its entry into the wine business as it eyes the fast growing domestic market.

The Hong Kong-listed company will distribute more than 200 types of red or white wines in cooperation with 21 suppliers from 11 countries, including France, Italy, Greece, Australia, Germany and Argentina. These include 40 products of sole agents and seven private brands.

"This represents our efforts to expand our portfolio in a bid to enlarge the consumer base and diversify the sources of revenue," said Liang Guoxing, chairman of Silver Base.

The company believed the rapidly expanding domestic wine market will boost its sales. According to a latest report from UK-based wine research company IWSR, China's wine consumption will almost double to US$2.71 billion in 2011 from US$1.54 billion in 2006.

"The average wine consumption is only 1 liter per person annually, far below 3.6 liters of the world's average, indicating a great market potential," Silver Base said.


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