Canadian spirits exports fall

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Distilled beverage

The value of Canadian spirits exports declined 5.1% in 2017, although spirits remain by far the largest alcohol export category for the country.

According to figures from Statistics Canada, the value of Canadian Spirits exports declined from $675m (USD $537m) to $640m (USD $510m), a decline of 5.1% during calendar year 2017 from the previous year.

Canadian Whisky accounted for $365m (USD $291m), followed by liqueurs at $155m (USD $124m), with vodka, gin, rum and grain neutral spirits accounting for the remainder.

Spirits account for 68% of Canadian alcohol exports by value: more than the combined total for beer (16%), cider (6.6%) and wine (9.4%).

Spirits Canada says the March 2017 Federal Budget, which increased Canadian liquor excise duties by 2% to 7.8%, has affected the industry and reduced the focus on exports.  

Jan Westcott, president and CEO, Spirits Canada, said: “The March 2017 Federal Budget has had a negative impact as manufacturers and brand owners sought to reduce costs and throttled back on their investments domestically and internationally.

"While Canadian excise duties are not charged on products exported outside of Canada, the hike in taxes in our home market has already begun to further erode the competitiveness of Canadian Spirits manufacturers, a decline we fear that will only accelerate in 2018 with the cut in spirits excise duties by the US earlier this year."

Spirits Canada is calling on the Minister of Finance to reform liquor excise duty and eliminate the annual escalator tax in the upcoming 2018-2019 federal Budget, which will be tabled on February 27.

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