SA wine exports hit by Cape Town woes

Germans drinking their local booze
Germany is South Africa's second largest wine export market.
Carin Smith
Problems at the Cape Town port – along with lockdowns in China and a "drink local" campaign in Germany hit South African wine exports last year.

South Africa exported a total volume of 368.8 million litres of wine in 2022, about 20 million litres less than in 2021, according to a new report that Wines of South Africa (WoSA). WoSA is a not-for-profit industry body which promotes the export of SA wine.

These exports totalled R9.9 billion in value, down from R10.2 billion in 2021. While bulk wine was 62% of total export volumes, packaged wine contributed 77% of the value of the exports.

The decline in export volume and value can mainly be attributed to shipping constraints at the port of Cape Town, according to WoSA CEO Siobhan Thompson. An extended period of adverse weather conditions prevented ships from docking during April. In October there was a two-week strike by port workers. Furthermore, the shortage of shipping containers, as well as packaging materials, caused additional challenges.

Hard lockdowns in China slowed the Chinese economy and led to an overall decline in wine consumption. Last year, South Africa wine exports to China fee by 26% in value and 38% in volumes.

In Germany, South Africa's second largest wine export market, WoSA says higher inflation impacting the cost of living and a "drink local" trend hit South Africa wine exports. Exports to Germany fell by 17% in value and 9% in volume in 2022.

The UK remains South Africa's largest wine export market. In the UK the perception and quality offering of South African wine has improved over the past decade, according to WoSA. In 2022 SA wine export volumes to the UK grew by 5% in volume. Bulk wine exports drove the volume growth with an 8% growth in rand per litre.-Fin24