UK gin export sales hit new heights in 2019By Melita Kiely
British gin sales abroad reached £672 million (US$872.7m) in 2019, according to the latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
The figures showed a 9% increase in 2019 compared to 2018. In 2016, export sales broke the £500m (US$649m) mark for the first time.
Combined sales of gin in the UK and abroad were worth more than £3.2 billion (US$4.2bn) in 2019.
More gin is exported around the world than beef, wheat or beer, according to the WSTA, with gin sales abroad worth 14% more than British beer. British beer sales abroad totalled £590m (US$766m) last year.
With the UK budget now a month away, the WSTA is urging the government to cut spirits duty by 2% in the UK to further boost the gin sector.
Miles Beale, WSTA chief executive, said: “We now have year-end figures for the UK’s trade in 2019 and, just as was the case at the end of 2018, gin has ended on a high.
“It was not long ago that sales of gin at home and abroad broke the £3 billion barrier and the category continues to go from strength to strength. If freezing duty supports this sort of growth, imagine what a cut could do.
“Second, these numbers tell us something else important – 47% of our gin exports go to the EU. As British spirit makers gear up to tackle new export markets, it will be important to maintain the booming trade in British gin – linking British supply and European demand, and vice versa – through the transition period on 31st December 2020.
“Finally, British spirit makers, many of whom are SMEs, need greater support from government to continue to grow and to export sooner, and further afield. That is why, as a first and easy step, we are calling on the chancellor to cut duty by 2% at the budget, which is exactly one month away on 11th March.”