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SA wine exports in healthy recovery despite the pandemic, sales bans and other issues

The Wines of South Africa (Wosa) export report for 2021 shows the value of exports grew to R10.2 billion compared with 2018 when exports fetched only R9.1bn. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

The Wines of South Africa (Wosa) export report for 2021 shows the value of exports grew to R10.2 billion compared with 2018 when exports fetched only R9.1bn. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 21, 2022

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Cape Town - South Africa’s wine exports have made a healthy recovery with the Wines of South Africa (Wosa) export report for 2021 showing the total value of exports grew to R10.2 billion compared to 2018 when exports fetched only R9.1 billion.

Among export destinations that bounced back was the UK, South Africa’s largest wine export market, which showed a 10% increase in volume and a 25% increase in the value of packaged wine.

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Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer said the improvement had come despite the Covid-19 pandemic and other setbacks experienced by the wine industry such as local alcohol sales bans, global freight and localised port issues.

Wosa chief executive Siobhan Thompson said the African market for South African wine recovered very well in 2021, with export volumes exceeding pre-Covid-19 levels.

“Markets driving this growth are Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Further market insights show that this will continue in the future as the market expands.”

She said exports to China also improved and the Wosa report attributed this to the Chinese trade war with Australia, which presented increased opportunities for South African packaged and bulk wine. This enabled South Africa to export more than double its market share.

Meanwhile, during Thursday’s annual Vinpro Day – themed, “Revive, Recover, Rebuild” – Vinpro consultation services manager Conrad Schutte said it was estimated that the 2022 wine grape crop will be down, compared to 2021.

However, he said this would still be higher than the five-year average.

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Nedbank agriculture head John Hudson said the wine industry was a significant contributor to regional and national GDP, spending R55 billion across the value chain and employing 270 000 people.

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Cape Argus

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