Importers to lower U.S. wine prices

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Importers to lower U.S. wine prices

Local wine importers are announcing their plans to lower the prices of their U.S. wines as the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement goes into force on Thursday after much delay.

The trade pact lifts a 15 percent tariff on wine imports from the country.

Shindong Wine, one of the nation’s leading wine importers, said yesterday that consumers will be able to purchase bottles of Robert Mondavi at discounts of up to 14 percent from Thursday.

With the change in price tag, consumers will be able to buy a bottle of Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon at an 11 percent discount, which will see the price drop from 78,000 won to 69,000 won at Hyundai Department Store.

A bottle of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Merlot will cost 21,000 won, down 14 percent.

“Once the tariff on American wine is lifted, products will gain more price competitiveness in the local market,” said Yoo Tae-young, an official from Shindong Wine.

“We expect this to spur change in the overall wine industry.”

Prior to Shindong Wine’s announcement, Keumyang International, Korea’s No. 1 wine importer, also said it will lower the prices of 42 different wines it imports from the U.S. by 10 percent starting Thursday.

By Lee Eun-joo [angie@joongang.co.kr]

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