Global Scotch exports rise for second year
Scotch whisky exports increased in both volume and value in 2017, hitting £4.36 billion (US$6bn), according to HMRC data released by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).
Global Scotch exports grew by 1.6% in volume and 8.9% in value, with 1.23bn bottles shipped. Exports of single malt Scotch grew by 14.2% in 2017 to £1.17bn.
The figures from the latest HMRC export data show that Scotch whisky accounted for over 20% of all UK food and drink exports.
In terms of value, the US was the largest export market for Scotch in 2017 at £922m, up by 7.7%. France follows in second place at £433m, and Singapore is third at £291m.
France retained its place as the largest market for Scotch in volume terms with 178m bottles, but it declined by 5.9% from 190m bottles in 2016. The US is the second biggest market with 127m bottles, followed by India with 89m bottles.
Karen Betts, CEO of the SWA, said: “It is crucial that we continue to support both the new wave of whisky entrepreneurs and established distillers who are taking Scotch to the world.
“It’s very important to the industry that our global markets remain robust and resilient as the UK navigates Brexit and establishes new trading relationships around the world. We have undoubtedly benefited from recent falls in the value of the pound, as have other exporters. But this short-term boost will not distract the industry from working hard to secure the conditions for long-term growth.
“With over 30% of our trade with EU, it is vital that the UK Government secures transition that allows frictionless trade to continue to with European markets and with those countries with which the EU has free trade agreements.”
In the long-term, the SWA is urging the UK government to “secure as smooth trade conditions as possible” with Europe, and is calling for free-trade deals with key markets around the world.
The UK’s rare whisky market reached record levels in 2017, surpassing £25 million – an increase of 76.33% compared to the previous year.