Good performance for South African wine exports
France, Italy and Spain were key drivers. Exports to Germany, the largest destination for South African bulk, grew by a quarter
Exports of packaged and bulk wine out of South Africa grew by 25.9% last year, according to the latest release from SAWIS, South Africa's wine industry statistics body. Bulk exports drove growth with strong development in shipments to European producer countries. France, Italy and Spain were key drivers. Exports to Germany, the largest destination for South African bulk, grew by a quarter as cheaper South African wines helped to fill the void on the domestic market left by a poor Italian harvest in 2012. Germany is also a European hub for bottling and re-exports.
The UK remains by some distance the leading export destination for packaged wines and grew by almost one-third on the year before. Sweden and Germany were second and third-largest respectively, with the former declining slightly and the latter seeing growth.
As for varieties, chenin blanc remains the leading single varietal wine to be exported, followed by sauvignon blanc and chardonnay. Shipments of merlot grew strongly, but remained behind shiraz in terms of varietal red exports.
In total, excluding sparkling and fortified wines, some 57.5m nine-litre cases were exported last year.