It took 15 years for Australia’s wine producers to build up a $1.3 billion export business to China – and the stroke of a pen late last year by the Chinese government to destroy it.
According to the Australian Financial Review (AFR), the wine sector – including the big-selling Penfolds brand owned by Treasury Wine Estates – is the highest profile of the industries which have been battered by the Chinese Communist Party imposing punishing tariffs and blockages.
AFR says wine is also having the toughest time diversifying among sectors including barley, lobster and coal. Treasury Wines chief executive Tim Ford told AFR it could take up to three years for Australia’s biggest wine group to gain full traction in its plans to shift up to $500 million of high-end wine to other markets including South Korea, Thailand, Japan and Vietnam.
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