Scotch soars in the Americas

24th August, 2011 by Alan Lodge

Central and South America has emerged as the biggest growth region for Scotch whisky exports, despite the buzz about Asia.

Figures from the Scotch Whisky Association show that Central and South America has seen 50% volume growth and 58% value growth over the past year for Scotch exports.

Africa saw 42% volume growth and 48% value growth, while Asia managed 22% volume growth and 34% value growth.

Despite this, Asia is still seen by the industry as the key to driving future growth.

Speaking to The Spirits Business, Scotch Whisky Association communications manager Rosemary Gallagher said: “Provisional HMRC figures show that in the 12 months to the end of May 2011, shipments of single malt to Asia totalled £147 million (up 1,442%), sales of bottled blended malt reached £14.9m (up 987%) and bulk blended malt reached £43m (up 1,386%).

“Asia and Far East are certainly growing in importance and companies are launching a number of marketing initiatives to boost sales. Diageo, for example, recently opened its Johnnie Walker House in Shanghai.

“There have been other breakthroughs which have helped companies market Scotch Whisky in Asia. For example, in July the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and South Korea came into force – this eliminates Korea’s 20% import tariff on spirits.

“Also this year, authorities in India granted an application by the Scotch Whisky Association for Scotch Whisky to be registered and protected as a geographical indication of origin.”

France and the US remain the top two markets in terms of volume and value, with Singapore third.

Gallagher told us that this statistic might be slightly misleading, however.

“When looking at the Singapore market you should be aware that it operates as a distribution hub so a lot of the Scotch Whisky goes through there to other parts of Asia.”

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