More Bad News For Baijiu As Bottle Prices Drop

Sina Reports Moutai Can Now Be Obtained For Less Than 800 RMB A Bottle

Moutai profit growth has dropped significantly over the past year.

Moutai profit growth has dropped significantly over the past year.

With the continued crackdown on official banquet culture and luxury “gifting” practices, news just keeps getting worse for high-endbaijiu. People’s Daily recently reported that sneaky officials who can’t get enough of the Chinese spirit have supposedly been hiding it in water bottles in order to continue enjoying it while avoiding corruption accusations, but they apparently haven’t been drinking enough — recent news reported that Moutai purchasing prices have been cut dramatically, in some cases to less than 800 RMB a bottle.

Chinese-language article on Sina reported yesterday that a journalist went undercover to a Beijing Moutai dealer to negotiate a bulk buying price, and was able to bargain it down to 780 RMB per bottle for a purchase of four cases. It states that mainstream discount websites still sell the bottles for around 1200 RMB, but the price on these sites is dropping as well.

High-end baijiu makers have experienced significant drops in stock prices and profit growth since the start of the crackdown. Kweichow Moutai Co., China’s largest baijiu producer, saw its first-quarter profit growth cut by almost two thirds compared to last year.

Some baijiu companies, especially those owned by international firms, are hoping to break into Middle Eastern and European markets to counteract Chinese losses. Top international liquor company Diageo plans to hold tasting sessions with acclaimed international restaurants as part of its campaign to educate foreigners about the liquor, but it is yet to be seen whether or not the international market will take to baijiu‘s distinctive flavor.

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