Top Chinese distiller flexing muscles beyond traditional strength with limited-edition new wine
Published: Jun 28, 2021 11:54 PM
Photo: Screenshot of Moutai Wine online shop

Photo: Screenshot of Moutai Wine online shop

A limited-edition new product recently launched by the wine subsidiary of Kweichow Moutai Group has drawn market attention to the top Chinese liquor distiller's move beyond its traditional strength.

The new wine, unveiled over the weekend at Moutai's manor in Changli, North China's Hebei Province, is limited to only 9,999 bottles priced at 3,299 yuan ($510.85) apiece. 

An expert advisory board for Moutai wine was also set up at the launch event. 

Prior to the new offering, the wine subsidiary, founded in 2002, had rolled out an array of products with price tags ranging from 59 yuan to 1,280 yuan, according to media reports.

Unlike the Shanghai-listed arm that has made Moutai known as the king of liquor, the wine unit has largely been invisible.

After posting losses in 2017, Moutai's wine subsidiary saw its operating income rise to 218 million yuan last year from 130 million yuan in 2018. The wine unit disclosed in April its plans to float on the A-share market by 2025.

Nonetheless, the wine business' IPO ambitions seem to have been clouded by sluggishness in the domestic wine sector. Profits at the country's 155 major wine firms plunged 74.48 percent year-on-year to 259 million yuan in 2020, industry data showed. 

By comparison, the listed arm, noted for its signature Feitian 53 range that retails for 1,499 yuan, recorded 98 billion yuan in overall operating income in 2020, up 10.29 percent year-on-year, according to its annual fiscal disclosure. 

In a sign of the insane popularity of Moutai's hot-selling fiery products, photos of a new variant of the Feitian 53 range that comes in a Tiffany blue bottle were disseminated among liquor distributors starting Friday, and in less than 24 hours, the asking price for the new model skyrocketed to 8,500 yuan per bottle, China Fund News reported Monday. 

Shares of Moutai ended up 0.53 percent on Monday, outperforming a 0.03 percent drop in the flagship Shanghai Composite Index.

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