Record year for Scotch whisky exports despite volume drop

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags International trade Trade Scotch whisky association

Scotch whisky export sales reached record levels last year, despite a two per cent volume drop, as demand grew for premium products, said the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

Scotch whisky exports broke the £100 per second sales barrier for the first time in 2011.

Global shipments were valued at £3.45bn, a 10 per cent jump from 2009.

This is the sixth consecutive year global Scotch whisky exports have increased. Since 2000 they have grown by 60 per cent, adding an extra £1.29bn in value to shipments.

US remains largest in value

Eight of the top ten markets grew in value, with a strong performance in the US, which grew 19 per cent to £499m, remaining Scotch’s largest export market by value.

In Europe, the industry had another positive year in France, the country saw a four per cent in crease in shipments to £422m.

However, Greece (-26 per cent to £97m) and Spain (-15 per cent to £268m) proved to be difficult markets due to the economic situation in those countries, said the association.

“Greek exercise duty on Scotch whisky, for example, was increased threetimes in 2010 as part of the government’s austerity measures,”​ said the SWA.

The ‘BRIC’ markets continued to develop, with exports growing to Brazil (+12 per cent to £67m), China (+24 per cent to £55m), India (+46 per cent to £41m) and Russia (+61 per cent to £31m).

Working on continued growth

To help distillers build on a successful 2010, the association is working hard to secure fair access to Scotch Whisky’s export markets and better legal protection, said Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the SWA.

“We saw real progress on our trade agenda last year, including agreements for lower tariffs in South Korea and GI registration in China,”​ said Hewitt.

“This year we look to the successful conclusion of the EU-India free trade negotiations to

deliver major improvements in the tariff and trading conditions for our members’ brands in

India, a market offering significant future potential,” ​he added.

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