The recent Wine for Asia 2005 show at Singapore Expo was a considerable success for exhibitors. Heartened by the response, the organisers, Singex Exhibitions and Wine Resources, are already lining up road trips to America, Australia, South Africa and Italy to promote next year's show
A post-show survey with exhibitors showed that 74% of them clinched on-site deals of US$10,000 and below and 15%, deals above US$10,000. Thirty-nine per cent of exhibitors also indicated that they are expecting to secure deals of more than US$10,000 each over the next 12 months.
WFA 05, held from 10-12 November, was the third in the series which was launched in 2003. More than 10,000 labels of wine from all over the world and 50,000 bottles were showcased at the event. The show attracted more than 12,000 visitors.
WFA 05 was also a success in terms of an increased number of exhibitors. More than 400 exhibitors and co-exhibitors from 22 countries all over the world took part in the three-day event, taking up 5,000 sq m of space. Last year, 170 exhibitors took up an exhibition size of 3,000 sq m. The increase is clearly a reflection of the rise in the wine-drinking habit in Asia.
Said Mr Loy Joon How, Director (International Sales) / Lifestyle Cluster, Singex Exhibitions Pte Ltd: "The feedback from exhibitors at WFA 05 is most encouraging. It is a clear indication that the show attracts serious buyers from all over Asia and exhibitors see immediate returns in terms of sales and orders as well as scope for further orders. They also pick up leads for appointment of distributors.
The show is Asia's only platform dedicated to reaching out to the Asian wine and spirits market. As such, many exhibitors are using the occasion as a one-stop platform to source for buyers, not only from Singapore, but from all parts of Asia. Based on the success and interest from the industry, we expect next year's WFA to be even bigger."
He also observed that this year, many overseas wineries decided to participate directly to see for themselves the growing Asian wine markets. In previous years, they would just render support to their distributors by sending over their wines.
"This year, we had a very strong direct presence from overseas exhibitors, further reinforcing the growing importance of WFA as the key regional marketing platform for the Asian wine market," Mr Loy added.
Buyer delegations from 10 countries attended WFA 05, with a strong turnout by India and China. A 43-strong delegation from India was the largest among the buyer groups, with China second with a 21-strong team. Other delegations came from Hongkong, Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Dubai and Thailand.
In addition, there were buyer groups who came on their own, including 63 buyers from Singapore. Other such groups came from Britain, the United States, Argentina and Mexico.
Road trips to America, Australia, South Africa and Italy
Riding on the success of this year's show, the organisers, at the invitation of various trade and commercial offices in Singapore, are planning road trips to America, Australia, South Africa and Italy to meet potential exhibitors, associations and government trade bodies to secure their participation for next year's show.
"We are pleased to note that WFA is now a well-known brand internationally and we are indeed very confident that we will be able to bring in more exhibitors for the next year's event," said Mr Loy.
The import of still wine into Singapore has increased significantly - by 160% over the past decade, from 4.33 million litres in 1994 to 11.28 million litres in 2004. In the same period, import of sparkling wine jumped by 250% from 1.09 million litres to 3.78 million litres. (Refer to tables below)
The race to take advantage of the phenomenal growth of the wine-drinking habit in Singapore brought about changes in the rankings of wine supplier countries.
Australia took top spot as the top exporter of still wine to Singapore, causing traditional leader France to take second position last year, according to figures from International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) released by WFA organisers.
However, although the import volume from France has dropped, the country still leads in terms of import value. Her value of import in 2004 was S$64.40m compared to S$49.68m for Australia, an indication that expensive wines from French prestigious châteaux still dominate the high-end wine markets here. While France has lost its lead in terms of still wine import into Singapore, it has maintained its dominance in sparkling wines, with its imports rising from 2.4 million litres in 2003 to 3.64 million litres in 2004.
Beyond the top two positions, Chile and Italy showed dramatic growth, with Chile moving into third place and Italy into fourth place. Imports from Germany grew by 131 per cent - from 118,000 litres in 2003 to 273,000 litres in 2004. South Africa and New Zealand have also improved in wine exports into Singapore.
Source : www.wine.co.za