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May 22, 2013

China is likely to make substantive moves this year toward initiating an anti-dumping investigation into wine imported from the Eurozone, the China Security Journal reported on Tuesday.

The government may take a further step in pushing the probe in response to a strong call from the domestic wine industry and a string of anti-dumping cases brought by the European Union (EU) against Chinese products, the report quoted insiders as saying.

The Chinese Alcoholic Drinks Association announced last August that it had submitted a petition to the Ministry of Commerce, calling for an anti-dumping investigation regarding wine imported from the EU.

Chinese wine producers have been squeezed by stiff competition from their strong overseas counterparts and a persistent slump in their home market.

Exports now make up nearly one-third of China's liquor market. Wine from the EU took up 58.7 percent of China's wine imports in the first two months of 2013, customs data showed.

Most Chinese winemakers have posted disappointing financial figures. Yantai Changyu Pioneer Wine Co., a leading domestic wine brand, saw its business revenue and profit drop 3.34 percent and 5.57 percent year on year, respectively, in the first quarter of 2013, according to the company's quarterly report.

Inspired by the prospect of anti-dumping investigations, China's winemakers posted big gains in the stock market on Monday. Changyu rose by 7.44 percent to 42.33 yuan on Monday and shed a slight 1.23 percent on Tuesday.

China became the world's fifth-largest consumer of wine in 2011 and is poised to become the second-largest liquor importer by 2015, according to International Wine & Spirit Research. 

Source:  People's Daily Online