SA wine exports reach record volumes

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Johannesburg - South African wine exports climbed to a record last year as countries including the UK and Germany increased orders.

The nation’s “bumper harvest” in 2013 allowed South Africa to fill the gap created by a poor European harvest, Stellenbosch-based Wines of South Africa chief executive Siobhan Thompson said in a statement posted on its website today.

Total export volumes rose 26 percent to 525.7 million litres (138.9 million gallons) in 2013 when compared with a year earlier, while exports to the UK climbed 21 percent and those to Germany jumped 24 percent.

Shipments to Russia gained 18 percent to 37.3 million litres.

“Strong gains were achieved in the UK and Germany, our two biggest markets, where packaged wines in particular showed very healthy growth,” Thompson said.

South Africa was the eighth-largest wine producer in 2012, accounting for 4 percent of global output, according to South African Wine Industry Information & Systems.

Since then, exports have been boosted by the depreciation of the rand, the worst-performing major currency against the dollar last year after it lost 19 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. - Bloomberg News

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