Wine Exports to China Grow Exponentially
South African wine exports to China have been growing by 50% annually for the past three years. Although South Africa only supplies 3% of the Chinese wine market, China has now become one of South Africa's top ten export destinations. This is according to Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, who earlier this week returned from a marketing drive in China to promote Western Cape wine.
Minister van Rensburg said that the Shandong Province in China and the Western Cape in South Africa are sister provinces, both belonging to the Regional Leader Forum grouping. The Western Cape also has bilateral agreements with Shandong on agriculture, trade and investment, economic co-operation, as well as governmental co-operation.
"We received an invitation to partake in the Yantai International Wine Show from the Shandong Governor, Jaing Daming, during the Regional Leader Forum meeting in Cape Town, 2010," Minister van Rensburg said. Twenty wine companies accompanied Minister van Rensburg to the Yantai International Wine Expo held from 27 to 29 June this year. It is the second year the Western Cape participates in this wine expo.
South Africa produces 800 million litres of wine annually, of which approximately 50% is exported. "I am confident that we will be able to maintain the excellent export growth we have seen in the past three years to China for the next few years," said Minister van Rensburg.
Minister van Rensburg said that producers who are considering venturing into the Chinese market are welcome to contact the Western Cape Department of Agriculture in order to access the networks established through the department's Market Access Programme.
Minister van Rensburg again emphasised the importance of increasing agricultural exports from the Western Cape: "If we export 5% more, we create 23 000 job opportunities, but if we export 5% less, we destroy 23 000 jobs."