By Enyichukwu Enemanna
South Africa’s trade body says wine export dropped by about 5% in 2022, attributing it to adverse weather effect and disruption in supply chain.
Wines of South Africa (WoSA) in a data released recently, said export volumes dropped 5% year-on-year to 368.8 million litres of wine while sales by value declined 2.9% to ZAR9.9bn (US$577m).
“The recovery of exports was hampered in 2022 by various factors out of the control of our producers,” WoSA CEO Siobhan Thompson said.
South Africa is largest wine market is the UK, which took in 96.9 million litres of wine in 2022, a rise of 5% on the previous year.
However, the total value of exports to the UK dropped by 5% to ZAR2.4bn.
WoSA pointed to an “extended period of adverse weather conditions,” which hit the shipping port of Cape Town in April. In October, industrial action by port workers caused disruptions for two weeks that impacted the port’s export capacity.
Germany, South Africa’s second-biggest export market, declined by 17% in value and by 9% in volume terms.
According to WoSA, inflation and “an emerging culture of drinking local wines” are reasons for this reduction.
Similarly, export to China fell by 38% in volume, accompanied by a decline in value of 26%. South African wines in the market had been showing “exponential growth” but China’s zero-Covid policy hit demand, WoSA said.
Rico Basson, the MD of the wine industry association Vinpro, said: “Our South African producers and exporters should be commended for the responsible manner with which they approached the marketing of wine during the past year.
“Our exporters remained focused and, notwithstanding massive cost pressure, supply chain disruptions and surplus stock, did not follow a short-term approach to discount their product, which would have eroded the work that was done over the past few years to reposition South African wines.”