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South African packaged wine exports to UK rise 25%

Published:  20 January, 2022

In a massive boon for South Africa's quality-led growers, total exports of South African wine to the UK rose 20% by value and 12% in volume in 2021 according to the latest figures released by industry body SAWIS.

Looking at the period for January to December 2021, it is particularly noticeable that the value of packaged wines exported to the UK far exceeded the total value of bulk exports (6%).

According to the data, the strongest overall growth was in the highest price segment (100 Rand and above), with worldwide exports increasing by 21% in value last year. Globally, South Africa saw a total increase (across all price segments) in exports of 12% by value and 22% by volume. Key markets to watch include China, African countries, US and Canada, with traditional markets such as Germany, Netherlands and Sweden holding strong in the face of difficult pandemic conditions.

The ongoing trade dispute between Australia and China helped South Africa to double its market share, due to the availability of quality packaged and bulk wines. Major retailers have reportedly increased their listings of South African wines and importers in China have expanded their portfolios.

Nevertheless, the UK remains the largest export market for South African wines, currently accounting for 25% of all exports, by value.

Times have been tough for the South African industry lately. According to the oversight body Vinpro, successive government bans on the domestic sale of alcohol have put more than 21,000 wine jobs at risk.