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American whiskey declines hit spirits exports

Exports of American whiskey and Bourbon declined in the first part of 2015, hitting the total value of spirits exported from the US, new data has revealed.

Declines in American whiskey and Bourbon have knocked total US spirits exports

According to figures released by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (Discus), value exports of American whiskey and Bourbon fell 9.1% in the first quarter of this year, while volume sales dropped 5.5%.

However, in the “Other Whiskey” category, which includes the fast-growing flavoured whiskey liqueurs, exports soared 34% by value and a massive 92.6% by volume – possibly a result of the international roll out of the Jack Daniel’s flavoured family of brands.

Overall, the US export sector declined 3.6% by value in Q1 to US$314 million, but grew 3.8% by volume to 15.9 million proof gallons.

The decline in American whiskey and Bourbon exports was partially offset by a 12% volume growth for rum and a significant 64% growth in American brandy – boosted by Constellation Brands’ fast-growing Paul Masson Grande Amber.

Meanwhile, gin and vodka volume exports declined 11% and 9% respectively following strong sales during the same period last year.

In terms of value, American brandy grew an enormous 78% to US$23.9 million, while rum grew 4% and gin increased 16%. However, vodka slipped more than 11%.

The slowdown of American whiskey exports may come as a surprise to some as it follows a prolonged period of consistent growth for the category.

However, earlier this month as new report claimed American whiskey was the spirit category with the “most momentum” and was forecast to grow by 1.1m cases in 2015.

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