Scotch whisky exports hit record value despite volume decline

Exports of Scotch whisky hit a record value of £4.3 billion in 2012, despite a volume decline of 5% over the same period.

Scotch whiskyThe value of Scotch exports has now increased by 87% over the last 10 years and this is the eighth consecutive year of growth. Scotch now represents about one quarter of all Britain’s food and drink exports.

The US remained the top market by value for Scotch whisky with exports breaking through the £700m barrier for the first time to reach £758m in 2012.

Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), said: “Scotch whisky continues to lead the way for UK food and drink exports. A combination of successful trade negotiations, excellent marketing by producers, growing demand from mature markets, particularly the US, and the growing middle class in emerging economies helped exports hit a record £4.3bn last year.

“We deliver a remarkable £135 a second to the UK balance of trade. We are contributing massively to the government’s wish for an export-led recovery.

“There is confidence in the future of the industry, illustrated by the £2 billion capital investment that Scotch whisky producers have committed over the next three to four years. New distilleries have opened and older ones brought back to use to meet rising demand.”

Increasing consumer knowledge of Scotch whisky around the world, has seen the demand for single malt and premium blended Scotch whisky increase. Single malt exports have risen over the last 10 years by 190% from £268m to £778m.

Reflecting the trend of last year for both Diageo and Pernod Ricard, sales of Scotch decreased in Southern Europe, but the SWA said these, “were more than matched by growing exports elsewhere.”

Exports to Eastern Europe, Asia and South America all increased; exports to India increased by 17% to £62m last year.

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