Australian Vintage named in China's wine dumping probe

Australian Vintage named in China's wine dumping probe

The ASX-listed company behind such wine brands as McGuigan Wines, Tempus Two and Nepenthe has been mentioned in a Chinese investigation into the alleged dumping of Australian wine exports.

After the market closed today, Australian Vintage (ASX: AVG) issued a response to the probe being undertaken by China's Ministry of Commerce, which follows a similar row over barley exports that led to the imposition of 80 per cent tariffs on the grain.

"AVG has been listed as an exporter in the application initiating the investigation and will cooperate fully in relation to information requests received as part of the investigation," the company said.

"AVG remains committed to the China market and building our relationship with our key distributor as part of our long term strategy.

"The impact of the investigation is not material to our results."

Unlike Treasury Wine Estates (ASX: TWE), whose shares fell following the announcement yesterday and dropped further today by 8.51 per cent to $9.68 each, AVG shares have barely moved since the investigation was announced.

Following Federal Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud's categorical rejection of China's wine dumping allegations, yesterday afternoon Trade Minister Simon Birmingham described the suggestions as "deeply troubling and quite perplexing".

Minister Birmingham said Chinese authorities had advised the Australian Government they were considering launching investigations into countervailing duties in relation to Australian wine.

"Australian wine is by no means subsidised, it is by no means sold at or below anything other than market rates in the world market," Minister Birmingham said.

"Australia's wine producers have worked hard for years to establish themselves with a reputation for the highest of quality and for being internationally competitive based on their excellence.

"Indeed, Australian wine during the first half of this year proved itself to be the second-highest priced wine sold in the Chinese market."

Minister Birmingham reiterated the government would work closely with the wine industry to defend these allegations, to help ensure the strongest of possible cases is put forward to prevent the application of tariffs or duties on Australian winemakers.

"Australia's wine makers are some of the most innovative and productive in the world. They have grown at the market across China, as they have across many other nations around the world out of their hard work and the quality of their product," he said.

"We stand by our winemakers at this time, we dismiss these perplexing allegations that somehow Australian wine is dumped onto the Chinese market or sold below market rates or cost rates.

"We will make sure that we put forward the strongest possible evidence-based case in defence of our wine industry to make sure that these investigations come to a conclusion, as they should, that Australian wine is nothing other than a world-class competitive product."

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