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Scotch exports near £2bn in first half of 2018

Scotch whisky exports enjoyed double-digit growth to £1.97 billion (US$2.57) during the first half of 2018, bolstered by the rising popularity of single malts.

Scotch whisky exports reached almost £2bn during the first half of 2018

HMRC figures released today by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) show Scotch exports by value grew by 10.8% during the first six months of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.

Single malts demonstrated continued favouritism with exports up 14.4% to £550 million (US$717.16m) during the first six months of 2018, meaning the sub-category now accounts for 28% of the value of all Scotch exports.

Blended whisky exports grew by value as well, rising 8.9% to £1.26bn (US$1.64bn).

The data also shows that emerging markets are growing “at a faster rate than ever before”. Exports to China jumped up 34.8% during the same period to hit £36.6m (US$47.73m), while India increased by 44.4% to more than £56m (US$73.03m).

The US is still the biggest export market by value – more than £400m (US$521.61m) – and France is the largest market for volume, importing close to 90m bottles during the first half of the year.

Karen Betts, SWA chief executive, said: “It’s hugely encouraging to see Scotch whisky exports continue to grow – and at double-digit rates – in the first half of this year.

“As the UK leaves the EU, the industry wants to continue to trade with the EU as easily as it has while being able to pursue growth opportunities globally.

“But in order to flourish overseas, the industry needs support at home. Competitive tax rates are crucial, enabling producers to start-up, scale-up and invest for growth, such that they continue to be the dynamic job creators, employers, tax generators and exporters they are.

“Right now, £3 in every £4 spent on Scotch in the UK is collected in tax by HM Treasury. The industry believes this tax burden is too high and is more likely to stifle growth than nurture it.

“That is why we are calling on the chancellor to freeze duty on Scotch whisky in the autumn Budget.”

Scotch whisky exports grew by both volume and value in 2017, reaching £4.36bn.

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