High-end Chinese Liquors Becoming Hot Commodity

Image: wantchinatimes.com

Moutai and Wuliangye are two Chinese high-end alcohol brands that you may not have heard of but that are among the best-selling luxury liquors in the world and among the 10 most valuable luxury brands overall. It is estimated that Moutai’s brand value is at $12 billion and Wuliangye’s is at $7 billion.

Wealthy Chinese and corporate elite individuals are investing heavily in high-end alcohol, including these two brands. In fact, in 2010, Hong Kong surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest wine-auction market. In 2011, a bottle of vintage Moutai sold for $1.36 million in Guiyang and in January 2012, a bottle of Wuliangye that was brewed in the 1960s sold at auction for $155,687.

Moutai is a sorghum-based liquor described as “exceptionally smooth, possibly the result of using clean water from Guizhou province.” Wuliangye is made from sorghum, rice, glutinous rice, wheat and corn.

Moutai producer Kweichow Moutai estimates approximately $2.7 billion of revenue in 2001, which is a 66.3% increase from the previous year. Wuliangye Yibin reports a $3.2 billion 2011 revenue, which is estimated to increase by 33.2% in the 2012 fiscal year.

In the U.S., many customers who order Moutai or Wuliangye are visitors from China and according to Steven Tang (manager at S. Dynasty in New York), the liquors are hard to purchase in the U.S. because there are so few distributors.

Source: Business Week