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South Africa records export value growth but sliding volumes

Published:  22 January, 2019

The South African wine industry has recorded 4% growth in value exports to R9.06 billion in 2018, but volumes fell 6% due to the small size of recent vintages.

Exports of bottled wine grew 3% in value in the year to 31 December 2018, while bulk exports were up 7%, according to data released by Wines of South Africa today.

Rand per litre prices increased by 11%, driven in the main by bulk prices increasing 17%, though packaged wines also saw the rand per litre price increase by 7%.

While 2018 proved to be  a "challenging year” for the industry, Wines of South Africa said it had managed to “put our best foot forward”.

“Striving to continue along this trajectory, we have proved that we are producers of world-class, high-quality wines that deserve to have this reflected in the bottom line,” chief executive officer Siobhan Thompson.

The UK remains South Africa’s leading export market with a total value of R1,8 million, while Germany held on to second place followed by The Netherlands in the third spot.

Exports to the UK increased 5% in value driven by bulk – up 16%, with packaged exports to the UK remaining largely static last year.

Volume exports to the UK were down 3% - a result of Wines of South Africa following a strategy of growing value exports to well-established European markets, said the trade body.

Packaged wine exports to China saw an increase 7% while the African continent is showedmixed results - Kenya, Zimbabwe and Zambia all showed strong growth with value of total exports increasing by 73%, 35% and 33% respectively.