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Exponential growth on imports from South Africa to the United Kingdom

If the growth in imports is any indicator of quality, then grapes (both in their liquid and natural form) from the Western Cape are among the best in the world.

Over the 2020/21 reporting period, the UK imported 16% more wine products and 15% more grapes than they did the year before. This is according to, South Africa’s official tourism, trade, and investment agency in the Western Cape, Wesgro.

Products profiled on the  Cape Trade Portal, an online resource that connects exporters and importers, are not just grapes that have piqued British interest. Beverages, spirits and vinegar, tobacco, vegetable products, and fruits are among the other top performing exports from the province.

Other exports such as yachts and paintings saw spike in demand of more than 100% from the British Isles.

The Cape Trade Portal provides overseas buyers access to locally produced premium products and services by Western Cape makers. So far, the Made in the Cape Marketing Campaign has seen almost a million hits from British buyers, with wine, prepared food, and fresh produce being among the most popular sectors to date.

The UK is the Western Cape’s third-largest export market, with exports totalling about £640 million (R12.5 billion) in 2021 and tops the list of users on the portal with more than 80,000 British people using the portal over the past 6 months. Because of the ease with which international buyers can get their hands on South African goods, Wesgro is seeing a healthy demand for a range of local products.

The portal’s growth will make it significantly easier for British importers to trade with exporters in the Western Cape. The UK maintains a healthy trade relationship with South Africa through the SACUM-UK EPA deal, which gives preferential access to South African goods entering local markets.  Nicknamed the Rainbow Nation because of its diversity, South Africa offers a unique value proposition, supported by an enabling local export ecosystem, that supports South Africa in maximising the export potential to key markets such as the UK.

Easily connecting Brits to the goods and services they want:

The Cape trade Portal has made it significantly easier for importers to access the region’s most popular goods and services, with the most popular and well-loved among them being:

Prepared foodstuffs, beverages, spirits, vinegar, tobacco, and tobacco substitutes.

In terms of wines, the bestselling cultivars are Sauvignon and Chenin Blanc, red blends, and the uniquely South African Pinotage.

When it comes to fruits the Brits have a taste for Cape grapes, apples, and citrus fruit. Grapes have been particularly popular and have seen their sales rise by 15%.

Although the Cape Trade Portal may still be in its infancy, it already hosts more than 2800 products. While citrus fruits are one of the most popular exports, it is interesting to see some of the less conventional items that people like such as catamarans. Through the portal, the agency wants to give buyers across the UK a trusted platform to find a wide range of quality products and services from the region.

There has been a positive uptake on the platform in a short space of time. Markets like the UK are important for trade growth, and export promotion is key to the economic development of the Western Cape. The Cape Trade Portal is an essential piece of a larger, ongoing effort to assist businesses in the province and boost their growth potential. Wesgro continues to champion these efforts to ensure that the province remains a sought-after source market globally.

To access the portal, please see link here:

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Exponential growth on imports from South Africa to the United Kingdom

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