Single Malt exports surpass £1billion for first time

For the first time ever, the value of Single Malt Scotch exports have surpassed £1 billion, with the market rising by almost 12% in value during 2016.

Described as “the stand-out performer” by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), more than 113m bottles of Single Malt were exported last year, with volumes increasing by 10% and the value of these shipments rising 11.8% to reach a new record of £1.02bn.

Single Malt is rising faster than Scotch overall, with the market growing by 4% over the course of 2016 to total more than £4bn.

Although Single Malt now represents just 9.3% of all Scotch whisky exports, the category accounts for 26% of the total by value.

According to the SWA, the main source of sales growth for Single Malt exports was the US, which accounted for an additional £48m worth of shipments.

Meanwhile, the SWA pointed out that Scotch remained the biggest net contributor to the UK’s balance of trade in goods in 2016. Indeed, without the impact of Scotch Whisky, the UK trade in goods deficit would have been 2.8% larger at almost £139bn.

Commenting on the figures, Julie Hesketh-Laird, acting chief executive at the SWA, said: “With Scotch Whisky exports returning to growth and rising to more than £4 billion, and Single Malts exceeding £1bn for the first time, we’re feeling optimistic about the future.”

Continuing she said, “Demand is rising in mature markets, such as the USA, and newer markets, including China.”

Finally, she recorded an increase in future suppliers to the market in response the rising demand, noting, “This confidence is reflected in the number of new distilleries – 14 have been opened in the last few years and we know of about another 40 in at various stages of planning.”

Scotch Whisky exports 2016: the key facts

• Up 4% in customs value on 2015 to £4,008,927,149 – worth £127 per second

• Volume up almost 5% to more than 1.2 billion bottles – almost 39 bottles exported every second

• Single Malt Scotch exports worth more than £1bn for the first time – up almost 12% to £1.02bn. This is the equivalent of 113m bottles shipped overseas

• Scotch was directly exported to 182 countries, up from 174 – showing its truly global nature

• All categories of Scotch Whisky grew last year, but Bottled Blended Scotch Whisky is still by far the biggest. It accounted for 69% of all Scotch volumes and values exported in 2016.

• Bottled Blended Scotch has traditionally been the largest category of Scotch and last year value increased for the first time since 2012 by 1.4% to £2.75bn.


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