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Taiwan's wine market robust despite slow economy: experts
Central News Agency
2014-01-18 08:51 PM
Taipei, Jan. 18 (CNA) Despite Taiwan's economic slowdown in recent years, its grape wine market remains robust, showing growth in the area of high-priced collector wines, industry experts said Saturday. Demand for grape wine has grown steadily over the past five years, with high-grade wines of exquisite quality being the main drivers, according a report posted on iCheers, Taiwan's largest online seller of grape wines. According to Bureau of Foreign Trade data for the first 10 months of 2013, the average unit cost of grape wine imports was apparently higher than in the same period of 2012, with the average unit cost of "still wine" growing 11 percent, while consumption of high-priced, high-quality grape wines also rose significantly. A 2013 iCheers sales report showed that the average price of grape wine sold on the website surged to NT$800 (US$26)-NT$1,200 per bottle in 2013 from less than NT$800 in 2012, and has jumped to around NT$1,500 per bottle already this year. Overall, iCheers' business turnover grew nearly 40 percent over the past year, the report showed. iCheers chief editor Pan Yun-chih said that the website has 3,000 types of wines on offer, compared with fewer than 800 in 2012. The price range has also expanded, and is now NT$500 to NT$10,000, he said. In addition, per capita spending has increased significantly, which shows that consumers are more willing to buy high-priced wines, Pan said. Lin Hsiao-hsun, marketing manager of the website, said Taiwan's grape wine market is more mature than many other Asian countries' and local consumers are more open to trying new products. Compared with consumers in Hong Kong and China who still favor Bordeaux, Taiwan's consumers are enthusiastic about fine quality wines from Spain, Italy and other countries, he said. (By Han Ting-ting and Y.L. Kao)
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