South African exports grow in 2018

The value of South Africa’s wine exports grew 4% in 2018 but current shortages of stock meant volume exports fell 6%.

According to figures released by Wines of South Africa, the total value of South African exports rose to R9 billion but volumes fell due to the small size of recent vintages.

Bottled exports rose 3% in value last year and bulk exports grew 7%. The price per litre of exported wine also grew 11% overall, helped by bulk prices going up by 17% and bottled exports by 7%.

The UK remains the biggest export market by value – worth R1.8m, up 5% – with Germany and the Netherlands in second and third place.

The value of packaged exports to the UK remained largely static in 2018 with the growth coming from bulk wines which rose 16% in value.

Volume exports meanwhile were down 3%, in part due to the short harvests but also as part of WOSA’s strategy to grow value exports in European markets.

Packaged wine exports to China grew 7% by volume, while the value of exports to African market such as Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe grew 73%, 33% and 35% by value respectively.

Siobhan Thompson, CEO of WOSA, commented: “While 2018 proved to be a challenging year for the industry, we have managed to put our best foot forward and strive 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. “

Meanwhile, as reported yesterday, the 2019 harvest in the country looks set to be a marked improvement on the drought-struck crops of 2016-2018 and water levels in local rivers and dams have recovered substantially after dropping alarmingly recently.

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