By Angela F.
The impacts of COVID-19 on Hong Kong’s wine imports and re-exports.
Throughout the years, Hong Kong's wine industry is supported by an abundance of experienced fine wine merchants with specialist knowledge and international wine trade experience.
Following the removal of all duty-related customs and administrative controls in February 2008, Hong Kong has developed into a wine trading and distribution centre for the Asia Pacific region, particularly for Mainland China with an extension to every port in the 42 mainland Customs Districts since November 2017.
However, almost none of the industries could be exempt from being affected by the pandemic. Hong Kong’s wine imports slumped by nearly a quarter in value during the first nine months of 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic and border closures caused more pain for the sector.
According to data from the Hong Kong government, wine imports dropped by 23.2% in value to HK$5.1bn, while its volume nosedived to 35.49m litres, a year on year decline of 20.9%.
The border closures across countries also led to dramatic impact on wine re-exports since the beginning of the pandemic. Wine re-exports between January and September 2020 amounted to a mere HK$600m, about 11% of Hong Kong’s total import value. This is a further drop from 2019’s 17.1% and the peak of 44% in 2015.
Hong Kong’s declining re-export business is also a reflection of weakening demand from mainland China and other Asia countries, due to the pandemic, a slower economy and trade wars.