Which Country Imports the Most Alcohols in the World?

Basic Chemicals May 28, 2018
Author: Sergey Avramenko
Head of Global Markets Research Team

In 2016, the global imports of alcohol stood at 49M tonnes, waning by -3.4% against the previous year figure. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.5% over the period from 2007 to 2016; the trend pattern remained consistent, with only minor fluctuations being observed in certain years. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2009, when import increased by 10% from the previous year level. Global alcohol import peaked of 51M tonnes in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2016, it failed to regain its strength.

In value terms, alcohol imports totaled $27B in 2016. Overall, alcohol imports continue to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. Over the period under review, global alcohol imports reached its maximum level of $42B in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2016, it failed to regain its strength.

Top Alcohol Importing Countries in the World

1. China (8.5 billion USD)

2. India (1.8 billion USD)

3. South Korea (1.2 billion USD)

4. Germany (1.1 billion USD)

5. Netherlands (1.1 billion USD)

6. Belgium (1.1 billion USD)

7. Japan (0.9 billion USD)

8. Italy (0.6 billion USD)

9. Turkey (0.6 billion USD)

10. France (0.5 billion USD)

11. Brazil (0.5 billion USD)

12. Thailand (0.4 billion USD)

Alcohol Imports By Country

China (18M tonnes) was the main importing country with an import of about 18M tonnes, which resulted at 37% of total imports. India (3.4M tonnes) ranks second globally in alcohol imports with a 7% share, following the Netherlands (5%), and South Korea (5%). Germany (2.2M tonnes), Japan (2M tonnes), Belgium (1.9M tonnes), Brazil (1.4M tonnes), Turkey (1.1M tonnes), Thailand (1.1M tonnes), Italy (1M tonnes), and France (973K tonnes) followed a long way behind this figure.

From 2007 to 2016, average annual rates of growth with regard to alcohol imports into China stood at +10.9%. At the same time, India (+13.0%), Brazil (+10.4%), Belgium (+6.2%), Turkey (+5.9%), the Netherlands (+4.2%), Thailand (+3.6%), and South Korea (+1.3%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, India emerged as the fastest growing importer/exporter in the world, with a CAGR of +13.0% from 2007-2016. Germany experienced a relatively flat trend pattern. By contrast, France (-1.4%), Japan (-2.2%), and Italy (-3.0%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. From 2007 to 2016, the share of the Netherlands, Belgium, Brazil, India, and China decreased by -1.6%, -1.7%, -1.7%, -4.7%, and -22.5% percentage points, while the shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, China ($8.5B) constitutes the largest market for imported alcohol worldwide, making up 32% of global imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by India ($1.8B), with the share of 7% of global imports. It was followed by South Korea, with the share of 4%.

From 2007 to 2016, the average annual growth rate of value of alcohol imports in China expanded at +1.6%. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: India (+9.6% per year) and South Korea (-2.4% per year).

Alcohol Import Prices By Country

In 2016, the average import price for alcohol amounted to $552 per tonne, falling by -14.8% against the previous year. Overall, alcohol import price continues to indicate a noticeable slump. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2010, an increase of 38% year-to-year. Global alcohol import peaked of $857 per tonne in 2011; however, from 2012 to 2016, it stood at a somewhat lower level.

There were significant differences in the average import prices amongst major importing countries. In 2016, the country with the highest import prices was Italy ($632 per tonne), while Brazil ($353 per tonne) was among the lowest.

From 2007 to 2016, the most notable growth rate of alcohol import prices was attained by Japan (-2.1% per year), while the other global leaders experienced a decline in the import price figures.

Do you want to know more about global alcohol market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • alcohol market share
  • alcohol prices
  • alcohol industry
  • alcohol sales
  • alcohol import
  • alcohol export
  • alcohol market forecast
  • alcohol price forecast
  • key alcohol producers

All data provided in this article covers the following product: HS Code 2905 - Acyclic alcohols and their halogenated, sulphonated, nitrated or nitrosated derivatives.

Source: World: Alcohols And Their Halogenated, Sulphonated, Nitrated Or Nitrosated Derivatives - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025