South Africa wine exports rise 17%: WOSA

January 15, 2013
Wine exports in South Africa had touched 417 million liters in 2012, a 17% increase compared to the 2011 figures, according to Wines of South Africa (WOSA) - the generic body for South African wine industry.

The amount of wine exported is the largest by the country till date and 10 million liters more than the previous record achieved in 2008.

According to WOSA, the growth is primarily due to favorable currency rates and decrease in harvests in other wine producing regions like Europe, South America, Australia and New Zealand.

WOSA CEO Su Birch said among all the exports, bulk exports accounted for 59% of volumes in 2012, in-line with the trend across the world, but favored packaged wines growth as they offer higher returns and meets the mainstream markets needs.

"Obviously we would prefer the accent to be on packaged wines in terms of job retention in the packaging industry and also to maintain sustainable profit margins for producers. We are therefore greatly encouraged by the recent growth of packaged exports to North America, Japan, China, as well as several increasingly affluent African nations, all to regions where we have been increasing our marketing investment," she said.

According to SA Wine Industry Information & Systems (SAWIS), the 2013 harvest will result in wine grape crops weighing up to 1.38 million tons.

Birch added, "This is assuming that good weather conditions continue, there is a speedy and peaceful resolution to the farmworker strikes and harvests come in on time."