Wine exports experienced an increase of ZAR 342 million.

In the huge landscape of global economy, the wine industry emerges as a prominent player, not only for its cultural and gastronomic value but also for its significant economic impact on multiple countries. In this context, South Africa stands out as a notable example, distinguishing itself on the world stage for the quality and quantity of its wine production.

Despite the inherent fluctuations in any economic sector, this industry has sought to remain stable. In fact, personal loans have often financed investments in this sector, which, while facing challenges, has shown impressive resilience.

In 2022, for example, the United Kingdom showed notable interest in South African wine despite its price increase, maintaining its position as the primary export market for South Africa. It even challenged the global trend by increasing its acquisitions by 8% compared to the previous year, especially driven by higher-value bulk exports.

During a presentation of sector outlook conducted by the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), Rico Basson, CEO of SA Wine, emphasized the importance of the current moment for the local wine and brandy industry.

He shared his projections for the sector between 2023 and 2032, revealing various global challenges ranging from high inflation and the energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine to persistent supply chain disruptions. Local factors such as load shedding, high input costs, limited government support, and inefficient logistics also contribute to these challenges.

But what was the scenario in 2023? In October of last year, South Africa recorded wine exports valued at ZAR 1.08 billion, while imports reached ZAR 106 million, resulting in a positive trade balance of ZAR 974 million.

From October 2022 to October 2023, South African wine exports experienced an increase of ZAR 342 million, it means a growth of 46.4%, going from ZAR 738 million to ZAR 1.08 billion. Meanwhile, imports decreased by ZAR 35.9 million, equivalent to a 25.3% reduction, going from ZAR 142 million to ZAR 106 million.

About export destinations, the United Kingdom is still at the top of the list with ZAR 250 million, followed by Namibia (ZAR 82.2 million), the United States (ZAR 72.7 million), Germany (ZAR 71.3 million), and the Netherlands (ZAR 63.5 million). On the other hand, concerning imports, the main source countries were France (ZAR 88.6 million), Italy (ZAR 9.36 million), Portugal (ZAR 6.51 million), Spain (ZAR 790,000), and Argentina (ZAR 476,000).

The significant increase in wine exports compared to the previous year was mainly due to a substantial rise in exports to the United Kingdom by 90.4%, the United States by 48.1%, and Italy with a 1.36% increase. In contrast, year-on-year imports experienced a decrease, primarily due to reduced transactions from Israel (-99.6%), Chile (-99.9%), and the United Kingdom (-99.2%).

As South Africa continues to consolidate its position on the international wine stage, it is evident that its wine industry is not only important locally but also plays a crucial role in the global economy.

Eduardo Urzagasti eduardo.urzagasti@elmejortrato.com