BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- China is the fourth largest destination country for Spain's wine exports with sales increasing by 10 percent a year on average, the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) reported on Wednesday.
Spain currently holds a 7 percent share of the Chinese market after France, Australia and Chile, and one of its main aims in the next few years will be to increase this figure, Maria Naranjo, director of food, wine and gastronomy at ICEX, told Xinhua.
"2023 will be a year of rebuilding in the Chinese market because the distribution channels need to be reestablished in the hospitality sector, which is fundamental so that wines -- particularly quality wines -- can find their niche," she said.
"Spanish wines are becoming especially valued in the Asian markets," she said, adding that she expects "the strong return of Chinese tourism to act as a driver for the sale of Spanish wines in the Chinese market."
Chinese importers of Spanish wine share Naranjo's optimism.
"The Chinese economy will recover very soon, and China has a large population," Jane Zheng from the Chinese wine importer Wajiu told Xinhua during the Barcelona Wine Week (BWW). "The quality of Spanish wine is improving and so I think sales will also grow."
"The situation is difficult because French wine, or wine from Chile, is more famous than Spanish wine. But the quality of Spanish wine is good and so is the price, so little by little it's becoming more popular in China," Luis Lei from the wine importer Xiamen Bodegas Castejon told Xinhua.
Around 70 percent of Spain's wine exports are concentrated in the European Union (EU), but the highest growth rates are in the Asian and Latin American markets. Chinese wine importers were among 1,800 key buyers of Spanish wine from around the world who attended the BWW between Feb. 6 and Feb. 8.