Due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Macao’s wine imports fell by nearly 47 per cent to about MOP 245 million (US$30.71 million) in the first half of the year, public broadcaster Rádio Macau-TDM reported this week.
According to the report, which referred to unspecified statistics obtained by Rádio Macau, the city’s wine imports in the first six months of last year amounted to MOP 460 million.
Tuesday’s report pointed out that French wines had a market share of 72 per cent in Macao in the first six months, followed by Australia (12 per cent) and Portugal (six per cent).
The Portuguese-language radio station quoted Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM) F&B and oenology lecturer Hugo Bandeira as saying that the decrease in wine imports had been expected due to the COVID-19 crisis. Bandeira was quoted as saying that even before the health menace, Macao had already had an overstock of wine, adding that wine sales in supermarkets dropped in the wake of the novel coronavirus crisis, and wine consumption in restaurants, hotels and restaurants also declined because of the lack of large-scale events and banquets since early this year.
Macao confirmed its first COVID-19 case on 22 January. All of the city’s 46 novel coronavirus patients have meanwhile been cured and discharged from hospital.
Bandeira said he expected the downward trend to continue in the second half of the year as restaurant and hotel operators, as well as distributors, were not expecting a fast recovery of the wine market.
According to Bandeira, who holds a Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Wines and Spirits from London’s Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), the average export price of Portuguese wines stands at just MOP 34, the lowest of imported wines in Macao, compared to French wines’ average price of MOP 594 and Australian wines’ MOP 120 per litre.
According to the report, Macao imported Portuguese wine worth MOP 13.5 million in the first half of the year, a year-on-year decrease of 44.8 per cent. In terms of quantity, the amounted of imported Portuguese wine decreased by 120,000 litres between January and June.
Trade sources told the Macau Post Daily today that beer continues to be Macao’s most popular alcoholic beverage. According to the sources, Tsingtao remains the city’s best-selling beer brand.