China's rising economic power is being matched by a boost in alcohol consumption, with a new report predicting liquor sales will continue to grow over the next four years.
The United States-based market consultants Frost & Sullivan have predicted that drinkers in the people's republic will consume 84.37 billion liters of alcohol a year by 2016, a rise of 5.9 percent from 2012.
That would be in keeping with the recent trend that saw consumption of China's five favorite alcoholic drinks – beer, white wine, rice wine, imported spirits and red wine – reach 62.72 billion liters last year, up from 46.52 billion in 2007, according to the report.
Other recent reports mirror the analysis, with wine-info.com saying China's wine imports are growing 50 percent a year and total expenditure on wine there last year reached 45 billion yuan ($7.05 billion).
The Paris-based research company Ipsos, meanwhile, has claimed that red wine is the most popular alcoholic drink in the people's republic, with a consumption rate of 39 percent, which edges out Chinese liquors (36 percent) and whisky (29 percent).