Hong Kong leading the way to be world's wine storage hub

on 14/11/10 at 7:50 pm

Wine

Thomas Chu’s nondescript factory looks like any other in the suburbs of Hong Kong, but it will be a key driver in the city’s bid to lead the world in an emerging industry — wine storage.

“Hong Kong is definitely leading the way in the wine industry,” said Chu, president of the Supply Chain Solutions, a firm that has turned seven vacant factories in Hong Kong into wine warehouses.

The city’s wine imports have skyrocketed while mainland Chinese snap up vintages at eye-popping prices — a bottle of 1869 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild fetched a world-record price of 232,000 US dollars at auction last month.

The southern Chinese financial hub is now the world’s second largest centre for wine auctions, having overtaken London, and trailing only New York.

Auction house giant Sotheby’s raised 14.3 million dollars from just two wine auctions in Hong Kong last year, almost double the figure raised by eight wine sales held in London by late October.

But a lack of storage place in the densely populated city of seven million prompted entrepreneurs to turn vacant factories — whose owners have moved to mainland China to cut costs — into wine warehouses.

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