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SA wine exports reach record volumes on bumper harvest

South African wine exports climbed to a record last year as countries including the UK and Germany increased orders.

The nation’s "bumper harvest" in 2013 allowed South Africa to fill the gap created by a poor European harvest, Stellenbosch-based Wines of South Africa chief executive Siobhan Thompson said in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday.

Total export volumes rose 26% to 525.7-million litres in 2013 when compared with a year earlier, while exports to the UK climbed 21% and those to Germany jumped 24%. Shipments to Russia gained 18% to 37.3-million litres.

"Strong gains were achieved in the UK and Germany, our two biggest markets, where packaged wines in particular showed very healthy growth," Thompson said.

South Africa was the eighth-largest wine producer in 2012, accounting for 4% of global output, according to South African Wine Industry Information and Systems.

Since then, exports have been boosted by the depreciation of the rand, the worst-performing major currency against the dollar last year after it lost 19%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. – Bloomberg

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