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Understanding the South Korean wine market

Primary Industries

RESEARCH from the University of South Australia is set to help the Australian wine industry understand the changing nature of the South Korean wine market as it enters a new era of bilateral trade relations with Australia.

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The research will highlight the trend of the South Korean wine market, the means of wine distribution and the regulatory environment.

The six-month project is funded by the Australian Grape and Wine authority and led by Dr You-il Lee.

The project team is expected to release the results early in 2015 – the same time as the free trade agreement takes effect.

According to Dr You-il Lee the biggest issue facing Australian wine imports into South Korea is the high price point of Australian wine.

“Australian wine is popular but expensive compared to the other competitors,” he said.

The research team will interview South Korean wine distributers, survey consumers and talk to the relevant government agencies. 

The research findings will help Australian winemakers know their competitors’ marketing strategies in South Korea and understand the regulations surrounding licensing, labeling and inspections. 

France, Chile, Italy, the United States and Spain are all ahead of Australia in value for wine in South Korea. 

Australian Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, said the free trade agreement would allow Australia to be more competitive.

“Both governments are working towards entry into force before the end of 2014 so that businesses in both countries can enjoy the benefits as soon as possible,” he said.

Wine, while still considered a luxury, is the fastest growing alcohol product in South Korea over the previous five years. 

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