S AFRICA: Wine exports to UK continue to climb

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Exports to the UK of South African wine for the first nine-months of the year seem to suggest that total volumes for the year will be up 14% on last year.

The predictions came from Wines of South Africa CEO Su Birch, who had just returned to South Africa from the UK.

She predicted that volumes for 2004 would grow by at least 14% on last year's 237 million litres, instead of the 11% initially projected. Last year, volumes grew 10% on 2002.

"After ten years of international trading, South African wines have come into their own among consumers in Europe. No longer do we have to sell the country as a wine producer before focusing on the wines themselves. Our reputation comes ahead of us. However, the challenge will be to build volumes and simultaneously protect margins."

South Africa had also been able to increase its average prices to £3.80 per bottle from £3.68 a year ago.

South Africa is now the fourth largest exporter of wine to the UK in value terms, edging out Italy, which has fallen to fifth.

According to ACNielsen, South Africa's value share of UK retail was 10.1% for the 12 months to the first week in August 2004, up from 9.4% for the previous 12 months.

Over the same period, volume share moved up to 10.2% from 9.7%.

Sectors: Wine

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