SA wine export will thrive over the next decade

South Africa’s wine export is set to soar by 13% over the next decade, according to the latest Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) baseline report.

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The bureau’s annual report‚ produced by researchers from the universities of Pretoria and Stellenbosch as well as the Western Cape Department of Agriculture‚ says wine exports reached 313 million litres last year‚ up from 122 million litres in 2000.

More than 50% of South Africa’s agricultural exports are produced in the Western Cape. “As part of our Project Khulisa (the province’s economic growth strategy), we have set ourselves the goal of boosting wine exports to strategic markets and the latest trends are excellent indicators,” said Western Cape economic opportunities MEC Alan Winde in a statement.

South Africa is exporting to markets across the world. The bulk of exports is destined for the European Union and the UK, but exports to key markets in the rest of Africa, the US and China is also growing.

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Exports are important for the South African wine industry. However, tariffs can restrict market access. The BFAP report highlighted that removing tariffs in strategic markets (Angola, Kenya, US and China) would be a key contributor to increased wine exports. But, it is not the only answer.

“If we want to grow exports into these markets we have to look at non-tariff barriers which are alive and kicking in Africa in particular. We also have to look at our marketing strategies and promote our South African brands in these markets,” said Tracy Davids from BFAP.

To stimulate the sale of South African wine on the rest of the continent, tasting events and promotions were currently being conducted in strategic markets including Angola, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Ghana, according to Matome Mbatha, Africa market manager for Wines of South Africa (WOSA).

Wine courses and seminars were also presented across the continent.

Despite key markets in Angola and Nigeria declining in the past year, growth had been recorded in Mozambique (86%), Mauritius (23%), Zimbabwe (6%) and Kenya (3%) from 2014 to 2015. East African markets were also growing extremely well, he said.