Australia’s largest wine producer plans to significantly expand its business in China by using shipments from other markets to sidestep crushing tariffs Beijing has imposed on exports from the Pacific nation.
Accolade Wines, owner of the popular Hardys and Echo Falls brands, said it would ship wine from Chile and elsewhere to China, which would allow it to bypass tariffs of up to 218 per cent that were imposed in November after a rise in diplomatic tensions.
As a result, Australian wine exports to China sank 96 per cent year on year to just A$12m between December and March, according to data from Wine Australia, a government body.
The plan is part of efforts by Accolade which was bought by private equity group Carlyle for A$1bn (US$778m) in 2018, to expand beyond its core Australian and UK markets and sell more premium wines.
The company is also considering an initial public offering, with Hong Kong a potential venue.
“We think we can gain significant share in China,” said Robert Foye, Accolade’s chief executive, who admitted that the company has been slow…