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China Retaliates And Investigates Import Of European Wine

In an earlier article covering the European Commission’s announcement that it had imposed an initial import tariff of 11.8% on the import of solar panels into European member countries from Chinese solar panel manufacturers we made reference to the fact that China was to investigate European wine being imported into their country. It is perhaps worth looking at this move in a little more detail.

A lovely bottle of French Bordeaux
(image credit: Crazy Joe Devola)

For instance, financially, how would the impact of imposing an import tariff on wines imported into China from European countries compare with the reverse happening in respect of solar panels being imported from China into European countries?

It was only a few days ago that China, some would say in retaliation to the announcement by the European Commissioner of the imposition of the previously mentioned import tariffs on Chinese solar panel manufacturers, announced that it was to launch an enquiry into the possible anti-subsidy and anti-dumping of the import of wine into China from European countries.

China’s Ministry of Commerce stated that it had “received requests from domestic wine companies, accusing European wine companies of entering the Chinese market by dumping products, receiving subsidies and other unfair measures. Based on these requests, the Ministry of Commerce will initiate a serious investigation according to laws and regulations.”

Just as solar panels could get more expensive in the UK because of the EU’s decision, so could the price of wine that is imported from Europe into China. This could impact on the likes of Spain with their Rioja, Germany with their Riesling and France with their Bordeaux.

So, in financial terms, China imported into Europe solar panels to the value of 21 billion euros during 2011 – a sizeable amount! In 2012, China imported 430 million litres of wine with a value of $2.6 billion with in excess of two thirds of that coming from EU countries. 40% of all of China’s imports of wine came from France.

As you can see, in monetary terms, Chinese solar panel imports into Europe far outweighed that of wine imports from Europe into China. Nevertheless, this is a significant “warning” from China to concern European companies involved in the wine sector.

We shall continue to monitor developments in this respect and report anything of relevance.

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