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Optimistic Outlook For Scotch Whisky Exports

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Optimistic Outlook For Scotch Whisky Exports

Optimistic Outlook For Scotch Whisky Exports
May 20
09:46 2016

Scotch whisky exports reached £3.86 billion in customs value last year, with signs of recovery after a slight decline in recent years. Export value was down 2.4% in 2015 (from £3.95 billion in 2014), a slowing from last year’s 7% fall, and putting total export value 56% higher than a decade ago.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), which published the report, says that Scotch whisky’s prospects for growth remain strong but that exporters continued to face challenging global economic conditions.

The volume of Scotch exports was down by 2.8% last year to 1.16 billion bottles. That represented 34 bottles of whisky every second being shipped from Scotland.

Consumer demand for Single Malt Scotch Whisky continues to be strong, with shipments up to £916.4 million in 2015 (from £914 million in 2014). Single Malts accounted for nearly 25% of the value Scotch whisky exports in 2015, up from just 18% five years ago.

Blended Scotch whisky remains important, as the biggest category (£2.77 billion), accounting for 72% of the global value of exports, and as the trailblazer for Scotch into new and emerging markets.

David Frost, chief executive of SWA.

David Frost, chief executive of SWA.

Exports to some major markets performed well last year. The USA, the biggest export destination for Scotch, remained steady at £749 million, nearly a fifth of all exports. Japan continued its recovery, up 18% to £76 million. There was also growth in a number of exciting emerging markets, with Mexico up 17% to £115 million, Turkey up 24% to almost £53 million and China returning to the Top 20 markets with an increase of 5% to £41 million.

In the context of the forthcoming EU referendum, the SWA points to the fact that around 40% of the volume of Scotch shipped globally was exported to the European Union last year, underlining the importance of the single market. The SWA has argued that EU membership is vital to growing Scotch whisky exports, with the EU playing a particularly important role in knocking down trade barriers as it negotiates Free Trade Agreements with third countries.

David Frost, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, comments: “Scotch whisky exports continue to deliver and the fundamentals for future growth are strong. Whilst the last couple of years have been more difficult, the longer-term picture has been one of increased demand, new investment, and premiumisation.”

He continues: “Challenges remain, with an uncertain global economy and political uncertainty in some export markets. Continued EU membership will also help to support Scotch whisky exports to the single market and would leave Scotch well placed to benefit from the lower tariffs and fairer market access that the EU has been able to secure through its negotiation of Free Trade Agreements with countries around the world.”

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