Wine giant Treasury Wine Estates (ASX: TWE) has doubled down on its commitment to the Chinese market despite a raft of growing trade issues in the sector.
TWE chairman Paul Rayner told shareholders at the company's annual general meeting that China remained a priority market.
"TWE has been dedicated to the China market since we first introduced Penfolds in 1995, bringing our experience as a trusted, premium global wine business to the local market to help create a strong wine industry that benefits many," he said.
"In return, China has embraced TWE and we appreciate the support we have received.
"Importantly, we continue to see a long-term role for TWE in helping to create a wine culture in China where the industry thrives, and everyone shares the benefits, together."
China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) is conducting an investigation into accusations of product dumping by the Australian industry.
Yesterday it was also revealed the China Alcoholic Drinks Association had written a request to MOFCOM to ask that imports of Australian wine in containers of two litres or less into China be subject to retrospective tariffs.
It also comes as Bloomberg reports that commodities traders in China have been ordered to cease importing Australian products including coal, barley, copper ore and concentrate, sugar, timber, wine and lobster.The report claims the government has ordered the halt to begin on Friday.
There was some positive news for shareholders with TWE CEO Tim Ford saying the company's brands - including the likes of Penfolds, Wolf Blass, Lindeman's, Seppelt and Matua -continued to see strong recovery in consumer demand in China in the first quarter."Pleasingly, we also saw strong consumption throughout the Golden Week holiday season and mid-autumn festival in September and into early October, driven by outstanding brand building investment execution from our local team and the return of banquet and social gathering occasions," he said.
"Across Asia we have seen progressive and consistent recovery of demand month on month, with depletions for the total Treasury Wine Estates brand portfolio growing 14 per cent in the first quarter versus the prior year."
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