Top 10 biggest Scotch markets 2016

15th May, 2017 by Lauren Eads

This year saw both the value and volume of Scotch exports increase for the first time since 2011, following years of decline, while single malt exports crossed the £1 billion mark for the first time.

Exports of Scotch whisky increased by both volume and value in 2016, the first time since 2011.

It marks a major milestone in the turnaround of Scotch, which has been in the doldrums since 2013, declining year-on-year. Only last year did the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) report that Scotch exports during the 2015 calendar year were showing signs of “slowing”, despite still being in decline.

Now, after nearly five years of decline, Scotch seems to be back on the up. In 2016, exports of Scotch whisky increased in value by £153 million to more than £4 billion (£4,008,927,149), and by volume to the equivalent of more than 1.2bn bottles – an increase of 5% and 4.8% respectively.

It was the first time since 2011 that both value and volume of Scotch exports recorded positive annual growth rates, and the first time ever that single malt exports exceeded £1bn with the market rising by almost 12% in value during 2016.


Described as its “stand-out performer”, more than 113m bottles of single malt Scotch was 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.

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.

Despite the success of single malt, bottled blended Scotch whisky remains the biggest category, accounting for 69% of all Scotch volumes and values exported in 2016. The value of this category increased for the first time since 2012 in 2016, rising £1.4% to  £2.75bn.

“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,” said Julie Hesketh-Laird, acting chief executive at the SWA. “Demand is rising in mature markets, such as the USA, and newer markets, including China. 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.”

While the category’s return to growth offers a positive outlook for the future of Scotch, Hesketh-Laird noted uncertainty ahead that could affect the industry, with Brexit presenting one of the most significant challenges.

“Industry success can’t be taken for granted and we need both the UK and Scottish Governments to work in partnership with us to deliver a business environment – at home and overseas – that supports sustainable growth.  At home, for example, we are calling for a ‘sector deal’ for Scotch as the new UK industrial strategy develops, recognising  our economic significance to communities across the country.”

With this in mind, we have rounded up the world’s biggest Scotch whisky markets by value, according to the SWA’s Scotch Whisky Exports Review 2016…

One Response to “Top 10 biggest Scotch markets 2016”

  1. Chetan Channe says:

    According to The Scotch Whisky Association, exports of Scotch whisky hit a record value of £4.3 billion in 2012, despite a volume decline of 5% over the same period. The 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.

    Other than above information, the latest research forecast shows the scotch whisky is produced mainly in five regions in Scotland Highland, Lowland, Islay, Speyside, and Campbeltown. Also, the global scotch whisky market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.35% during the period 2017-2021. According to this research study Bacardi, Beam Suntory, Diageo, Pernod Ricard and William Grant & Sons are the top companies in the global market. the research also provides global overview in terms of market drivers, trends, product type segmentation and regional outlook. Check this out:

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