Scotch Whisky sees surge in exports value

Scotch Whisky sees surge in exports value

In the first half of the year, Scotch Whisky exports increased in value by 3.4% to £1.8bn, boosted by the continuing growth in popularity of Single Malts across the globe.

This growth boosts the UK’s export performance, with Scotch remaining Britain's biggest food and drink export, making up almost a fifth of the sector's overseas shipments.

Analysis of official HMRC figures published by the Scotch Whisky Association shows consumers are continuing to sample more single malts, with exports up 7% to £479m in the first six months of the year. Single Malts now make up more than a quarter of the value of all Scotch shipped overseas.

This trend was clear in the USA where total Scotch exports were up 8.6% to £388m and single malts jumped 14% to £123m.

Scotch exports to many other mature and emerging markets increased. There was a marked return to growth in China - up 45% to £27m as the country's economy grows - and exports to Japan expanded 19% to £43m.

The European Union (EU) remains the biggest regional destination for Scotch with the value of exports up 4% to £559m, almost a third of the total.

Overall, the volume of whisky shipped overseas was down 2% to 528m bottles, and this was in the context of relatively favourable exchange rates. The lower volume and higher value is partly as result of the shift to Single Malts.

One of the SWA's priorities for Brexit is domestic reform to improve competitiveness, including changes to the current excise duty system.

Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: "The value of Scotch Whisky exports was up more than 3% in the first half of this year to £1.8bn, which is great news.  More and more consumers around the world are seeking out the fabulous range of Single Malts. It is good to see demand for Scotch increasing in a diverse range of mature and emerging markets around the world.

"But the figures mask more concerning underlying trends.  The value of exports is up but the volume is down.  With the changes Brexit will bring to the way the industry operates and trades, we need the support of the UK Government at home and overseas if we are to grasp the opportunities and keep this international success story going.”