CANBERRA, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- China became Australia's No. 1 wine export market for the first time in 2015-16, after sales of Australian wine in China grew by 51 percent to be worth more than 363 million U.S dollars.
Wine Australia released its annual Export Report of Thursday, which showed China had accelerated past the United States and the UK to become Australia largest wine export market, taking 21 percent of Australia's total exported wine, worth an overall 1.67 billion U.S dollars in 2015-16.
Highlighting China's interest in Australian wine is the fact that just ten years ago, wine exports to China were worth just 20 million U.S dollars annually.
According to the report, the implementation of the China-Australia Free Trade agreement (ChAFTA) has played a major part in making Australian wine more accessible to China's growing middle class.
Wine Australia said more than a third of Australia's exported wines, priced 7.5 U.S dollars or higher per liter, were being shipped to China.
Adam O'Neill, executive director of wine exporter Negociants International said the demand for Australian wine in China would only continue to increase in the future.
"The demand for our premium wines in China shows no sign of abating and it is particularly pleasing to see high levels of engagement from key trade and media," he told Wine Australia on Thursday.
"The rapidly maturing palate of consumers and the ability to reach them through online platforms such as TMall has us confident that this growth will continue, particularly at higher price points.
"It's certainly an exciting time for the Australian category."