HEFEI, March 27 (Xinhua) -- China imported a record 1.27 billion U.S. dollars of bottled wine in 2011, up 94 percent year-on-year, according to figures released Tuesday at the first China Worldwide Wine Summit Forum.
Meanwhile the value of imported loose-packed wine was down 20 percent from the previous year to 120 million U.S. dollars.
The sale of imported bottled wine first surpassed imported loose-packed wine in 2009, according to Lin Feng, vice president of H & J Consulting Company.
"The sale of imported bottled wine doubled that of loose-packed wine in two years, indicating that the imported wine market is evolving from low-end to high-end," Lin said during the forum held in Hefei, capital of Anhui Province.
According to statistics provided by the China Culture Association of Poetry and Wine (CCAPW), also the sponsor of the forum, the total volume of imported wine increased 76.5 percent and 80.9 percent in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
The CCAPW said that sales of China produced wine had grown an annualized 18 percent from 2006 to 2010 and the revenue of domestic wine industry reached 34.2 billion yuan in 2011, up 36.3 percent year-on-year.
Greek ambassador to China Theodoros Georgakelos said Greece exported 2 million euros of wine to China in 2011, which was a four-fold increase from 2010 and a 60-fold increase from 2006.
Also at the forum, Chilian ambassador to China Luis Schmidt said Chile exported 61 million liters of wine to China in 2010, with trade volume reaching 83 million U.S. dollars.
Schmidt said the Chinese wine market was attracting more attention from Latin American countries and had become the continent's fastest growing market with an annual grow rate around 50 percent in recent years.