Wine consumption in China fell in 2013, according to figures that both domestic and foreign producers hope will represent a blip in the market's long-term development.
Consumption dropped by 3.8% in 2013 versus 2012, to 1.7bn litres - the equivalent of 2.27bn bottles - estimated the International Organisation of Vine & Wine (OIV), which analysed import, production and export data as part of its calculation.
The drop contributed to a 1% dip in global wine consumption last year, it added.
Those who have followed Mainland China's wine story closely over the past couple of years are unlikely to be shocked by news of the decline.
Several importers have warned that China's wine market is overstocked, and some commentators have said producers, merchants and retailers need to do more to shift their focus away from government officials and towards mainstream consumers.
The amount of wine imported by China in 2013 dropped slightly more steeply than consumption in the country, indicating that some progress is being made to drain existing stocks.
Imports to China fell by 4.4% in volume, according to the Paris-based OIV.
But, China remains the fifth largest wine consuming nation in the OIV's chart, behind Germany, Italy, France and the US.
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