Weak rand encourages wine exports

Wednesday, 28 August, 2013
Wine exports have increased by more than 100 million litres – or 47 percent – in the first seven months of this year compared with the same period last year.
According to the chief executive of Wines of South Africa, Su Birch, there are several factors for this increase in exports to foreign markets. “The weakness of the rand is very significant,” said Birch. It made local products more attractive.

Also the northern hemisphere’s harvest was poor this year. It had rained all summer in Europe, which affected the harvest.

“The grapes were damaged and didn’t ripen properly.”

Birch said South Africa had a lot of wine to sell this year. “We were very lucky with that.”

South Africa exports packaged wine as well as in bulk. “Some of the wine gets exported and sold as South African bottled wine and some is sold in bulk.”

Exports to China and Japan had increased. “There was a substantial increase in exports to China of up to 27 percent.” However, the Asian market was still relatively small compared with the biggest market – the UK.

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