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Scotch whisky exports up 22% in first half


Scotch Whisky exports grew strongly, defying global economic uncertainty, in the first six months of 2011. Global shipments of Scotch Whisky between January and June 2011 reached £1.8 billion, up 22% on the £1.47bn achieved in the first half of 2010, according to figures released today by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

The USA remains the top export market by value for Scotch with shipments hitting £268m, up from £233.7m - an increase of around 14%. France, the second most valuable market, rose by 13% to £219.5m.

Emerging markets are becoming increasingly important to Scotch Whisky producers. Growth in Asia and South America was very strong. Shipments to Central and South America reached £214.4m in the first six months of the year, a 49% jump on the same period in 2010. Exports to Asia increased by 33% to £422.5m.

Taiwan is now a top five market for Scotch Whisky, with shipments growing to £70m from £48m. Shipments to Brazil rose by 56% to £44.8m. The volume of shipments grew in line with increased value. The equivalent of around 569 million bottles was exported in the first six months, an increase of 19% to the end of June. On an annualised basis – July 2010 to June 2011 - volume was up almost 5%. This figure reflects the slowdown at the end of 2010 due to economic uncertainty, followed by a growth in confidence among producers bolstered by increased demand from emerging markets.

Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “Scotch Whisky producers can be proud of their continuing success. Scotch Whisky is a main driver for the UK and Scottish economies in building export markets. We are making a strong contribution to the Scottish Government’s ambition of growing the country’s exports by 50% by 2017.

“While traditional export markets remain important, we are making excellent headway in other regions. Consumer confidence is strong. Recent breakthroughs in trade relations will help further. A Free Trade Agreement with South Korea and better legal protection for Scotch Whisky in India and Turkey give optimism for further growth. India and Turkey are now among the countries which recognise Scotch as a product that can only be made in Scotland.

“We will continue to fight for fairer treatment in overseas markets and to widen Scotch Whisky’s international appeal.”




1 September 2011 - Felicity Murray