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Scotch exports hit £6 billion for first time

Global Scotch whisky exports exceeded £6 billion (US$7.3bn) for the first time in 2022, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has confirmed.

wsr scotch whisky
Scotch whisky exports experienced a record-breaking year in 2022

Last year, the value of Scotch whisky exports grew by 37% to reach £6.2bn (US$7.5bn).

The number of 700ml bottles exported also increased by 27% to 1.67bn.

Mark Kent, chief executive of the SWA, said: “Passing £6bn in export value for the first time is a milestone, and testament to the work of our member companies and the tens of thousands of employees across Scotland and the UK supply chain who make Scotch whisky a global success story of which we are rightly proud.”

India overtakes France

Furthermore, India replaced France as the biggest Scotch whisky market by volume with 60% growth in 2022. A total of 219 million bottles were exported to India in 2022, up from 136m in 2021. However, Scotch accounts for 2% of the whisky market in India.

The US remains the largest export destination by value, reaching £1.053bn (US$1.3bn) in 2022 – up by 33% from £790m (US$956m) in 2021. This marks the first time Scotch exports have exceeded £1bn in the US.

Asia Pacific is now the sector’s biggest regional market, having surpassed the EU last year. This was attributed to double-digit growth in Taiwan, Singapore, India and China.

Blended Scotch whisky accounted for 59% of value exports overall, with single malts credited for 32% of exports by value.

Kent added: “In 2022, the industry benefited from the full re-opening of hospitality businesses in key global markets, as well as the return of global travel retail which opens such an important window for Scotch whisky to business and leisure travellers.

“Exports were also boosted by the continued premiumisation trend, with consumers attracted to high-quality spirits like Scotch whisky, now often enjoyed in longer serves as well as the more traditional dram.”

Kent continued to highlight the benefits that would come from reduced tariffs in the UK-India free trade deal.

He said: “Looking ahead, the industry will have to continue to navigate economic headwinds, including global inflationary pressures, domestic energy and business costs, and a reduction in consumer confidence.

“With the right support from our home governments, we remain confident that the industry can continue to deliver for the Scottish and wider UK economy.

“By reducing tariffs through the UK-India free trade agreement, continuing the duty freeze in the March budget, and ensuring the industry’s continued ability to advertise our world-class product in our home market, the Scottish and UK governments can count on the Scotch whisky industry to reinvest its success across the UK.”

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