In the first quarter of 2019, China’s cumulative import volume of beer amounted to 149,400 kilolitres, zero growth compared with the same period last year, and the imported value reached to 1.142 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 5.9%, according to statistics from the General Administration of Customs. The volume and value of imported beer grew at a disappointing pace in the first quarter compared with the same period in 2018. The data showed that the cumulative volume of imported beer was 149,400 kilolitres in the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 26.8% compared with the same period of 2017. The total amount was US $167 million (about 1.055 billion yuan), with a strong year-on-year increase of 33.7%.
However, when we see the overall annual situation, the growth rate of volume and amount of imported beer in recent years have been fluctuating, and gradually slowed down. From 2008 to 2015, the compound annual growth rate of the volume and amount of imported beer reached 52.45% and 47.92% respectively; in 2016, the volume and amount of imported beer increased by 20% and 23.3% respectively; while the growth rates of imported beer volume and amount dropped to 10.8% and 14.8% respectively in 2017. By 2018, the growth rate of volume and amount of imported beer rose back to 14.7% and 17.9% respectively
Some beer importers said that in 2018, there were a lot of overstocks in China's imported beer industry, so imported beer dealers are currently busy with clearing their inventories. Another beer dealer revealed that the Chinese imported beer industry had in fact been in a cycle of massive purchasing, overstocking and dealing with inventory. Since 2017, Chinese imported beer dealers have been dealing with the previous overstocks. This may be one reason for the slowdown in imported beer in China.