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SA wine exports to the UK leap 23%

Published:  18 January, 2021

South African wine exports to the UK, its leading export market, surged last year with both value and volume sales up.  

During 2020, export sales to the UK leaped 23% in value, while the market increased by 7% in volume terms, according to the SA Wine Industry Information and Systems NPC (SAWIS).

An increase of 28% by value for packaged wines to the UK was also announced for the same period.

The value growth was mainly driven by growth in sales at higher prices, said Wines of South Africa (WoSA).  

“It has been heartening to see the support for the South African wine industry in the UK trade and this has now translated into a significant jump in export figures,” Jo Wehring, UK market manager for WoSA.

“We have seen many importers, retailers and wine commentators go above and beyond to help our industry and make UK wine drinkers aware of the quality and potential of great South African wines. We hope our activities, such as the #SpectacularSouthAfrica social media campaign, have helped to bring some new UK consumers into the category. We look forward to welcoming the UK trade back to South Africa as soon as possible.”

Globally South Africa saw an increase in exports of 8% by value against a drop of 1% by volume.

The UK accounts for 23% of all South African wine exports by value and was the fastest growing of the top 10 major export markets for South Africa. 

The South African wine industry has had a particular hard 2020. Early in the year a five-week ban on the transport of alcohol ground exports to a halt. 

Once exports could resume the industry suffered under reduced capacity at Cape Town port as a result of Covid-19, coupled with extreme weather conditions that impacted on shipping. 

Throughout the year South African wine producers have also been contending with regular and ongoing bans on domestic wine sales and lack of international and local tourism. 

In June 2020, WoSA took the decision to move CapeWine from its planned dates in September 2021 to 5 to 7 October 2022.