Chinese Policy Changes May Harm Whiskey Industry
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Looming Chinese Policy Change Likely To Cause Turbulence For Whiskey Industry

There’s no denying the stranglehold that the potential Chinese sales market has for many industries. From computer games to spirits, the draw of selling product in China is often a notable sales goal for companies across the globe.

Simply put, there is no market larger than China’s middle class. Weighing in at roughly twice the U.S.’s total population, there’s simply too much money to made when product is available for sale overseas.

That, precisely, is why the spirits giants are dreading the potential for a major policy change in China. Less than a year ago, China effectively decimated its import wine market by imposing duties of up to 212% on imported wine. China Fund News is now reporting the similar may be done to spirits.

China has more middle-class consumers than any other country, leading a chief executing at Pernod Ricard, Alexandre Ricard, to regard the market as a “must-win”. Winning is hard to do when you’re priced out of being imported.

China’s largest domestic spirit is Baiju (think Buffalo Trace’s newest experimental concept) and Moutai’s stock fell 15% last week alone on news of the report. Whiskey has long been growing in popularity in countries like China, so a massive shift in policy could serve to be extremely damaging compared to typically rock steady domestic spirits like Baiju.

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