|South Africa exports set new record|
|Written by Elinor Zuke|
|Monday, 14 January 2013 11:26|
South Africa smashed its previous record to export the largest amount of wine to date in 2012.
The 417 million litres exported last year is a 17% increase on 2011 and 10 million more than the previous record set in 2008.
The record export year is the result of favourable currency rates, as well as a significant drop in the harvests of competitor regions including Europe, South America, Australia and New Zealand.
Bulk exports made up 59% of volumes as local producers strived to compete globally and meet market demands.
"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," said Wines of South Africa chief executive Su Birch.
Over the past decade bulk wine exports from the New World have risen from 20% to over half of all volumes traded. "The reality we face also confronts Australia, Chile, Argentina and even New Zealand," Birch said.
SA Wine Industry & Information Systems (SAWIS) has predicted that the 2013 wine grape crop will weigh in at 1.38 million tonnes - the third biggest in recorded history.
"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. The anticipated crop size is despite a decrease in total plantings, thanks to one of the best winter seasons in the Western Cape for many years," Birch added.