Local wine collectors ramp up investments amid economic slump
By Ted Chen, The China Post
January 19, 2014, 12:05 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Despite Taiwan's persisting economic slump, collectors have been increasing investment in hopes of buying up wine inventories while prices dip, a Web-based wine trading platform said.
According to the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BFT, 國貿局), the average selling price of imports for still wine over the first 10 months of last year surged by 11 percent. Sales volumes of higher priced wines, and specialty collectors' items such as bottles of champagne and spirits larger than two liters, also grew dramatically, according to the BFT's records.
The statistics mentioned above are a testament of the insatiable appetite of the local market, said iCheers, Taiwan's largest Web-based wine and spirits trading platform. Compared to two years ago, the average selling price for wine has increased by 40 percent, surging from NT$800 per bottle, to the range between NT$800 and NT$1,200, said the company, adding that the figure is expected to climb to NT$1,500 by the end of this year. Concurrently, Taiwanese have been observed increasing expenditures on all variety of fine wines, ranging from table wines to accompany meals to highly coveted vintages with prices beginning at NT$10,000 per bottle.
Most notably, Taiwan's wine and spirits market is deemed to be more mature than neighboring nations in the region, including Hong Kong and China. Taiwanese consumers are much more open to trying higher valued alternative products from Italy and Spain, while consumers in China and Hong Kong tend to limit their choices to higher priced and coveted wine producing regions such as Bordeaux.