Moutai price rises during holidays as supply falls short of demand

Updated 2017-02-03 09:57:29 Global Times

The average retail price of Moutai liquor products kept rising in the domestic market during this year's Spring Festival holidays, which analysts said was due to high sales and short supplies.

Moutai liquor products are produced by China's high-end white liquor maker Kweichow Moutai Co, based in Southwest China's Guizhou Province.

"Before the holidays, Moutai's star product - the 500-milliliter bottle of 53-degree Feitian - cost about 1,100 yuan (0), but the price rose to 1,300 yuan during the holidays," said Wu Kan, a retailer in Zunyi in Guizhou Province.

Feitian was priced at about 850 yuan per bottle in the first half of 2016, Wu told the Global Times on Thursday.

Wu said that "other types of Moutai such as the 15-year-old Moutai product, priced at 3,800 yuan before the holidays, rose to 4,500 yuan during the holidays."

A similar rise in prices has also been seen in other cities across China.

Five retailers of Moutai liquor products based in Beijing the Global Times talked to on Thursday said that the average price of Moutai liquor products rose around 20 percent month-on-month during the holidays and the price may drop after the holidays.

A retailer who declined to be identified and who is based in Beijing's Chaoyang district told the Global Times on Thursday that "the price of Feitian rose about 250 yuan to 1,450 yuan during the holidays."

On leading domestic e-commerce platform JD.com Inc, the price of Feitian is 1,259 yuan.

In China's first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, the capital of South China's Guangdong Province, the average retail price of Moutai liquor products rose by as much as 300 yuan per bottle during the holidays compared with late December, Yang Qingshan, a Beijing-based independent liquor expert, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Yang attributed the rise to limited output of the liquor, which "failed to meet market demand."

"The Spring Festival holidays are a peak period for sales of Moutai, which means higher prices," he said.

Also, as China's consumption structure continues to upgrade, domestic consumers want to buy Moutai products, a symbol of status and wealth, according to experts.

As the country is continuing its anti-corruption campaign, consumption of Moutai is "on the normal track," Yang said. "Moutai products are now primarily sold for business receptions as well as private consumption instead of being consumed at banquets paid for by public funds," he said.

Shu Guohua, a Beijing-based liquor marketing expert, agreed, saying that the consumption of Moutai is now mostly for private use.

"If the price of Moutai continues to rise, it will hinder consumption and won't be good for the growth of the company," Shu told the Global Times on Thursday.

After the holidays, the price of Moutai products will dip, Wu forecast. "For instance, the price of Feitian will drop to 1,200 to 1,250 yuan."

Wu said that the average retail price of Moutai products will remain at 1,000 to 1,100 yuan in 2017.

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