Scotch Whisky Exports Break New Records

27 Mar 2012

Scotch Whisky exports continued to grow last year hitting a record £4.2billion in shipment value, up 23% on 2010 according to figures unveiled today by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

Rising demand in both emerging and more mature markets has resulted in export values increasing by an average of 10% a year over the last five years. It now contributes £134 per second to the UK balance of trade.

Exports to the USA, the biggest market by value, broke the £600 million barrier for the first time in 2011 to reach £654.9m - up 31% on 2010. France, the second biggest market, saw exports grow by 27% to £535.4m.

Affluent young professionals in fast growing economies are increasingly developing a taste for Scotch Whisky. This is contributing to growth in countries across Asia and Latin America. Direct exports to Singapore, which serves as a distribution hub for much of Asia, rose by 44% to £317.9m. Taiwan saw an increase of 44% to £155.2m. In South America, Brazil was the fastest growing market by value with exports up 48% to £99.2m.

To meet this increased demand, distillers are investing record amounts in production capacity across Scotland. In the last four years the Scotch Whisky industry has invested over £1bn in new facilities.

Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said:

"Despite continuing economic uncertainty, Scotch Whisky continues to meet increasing demand from all corners of the globe. It continues to appeal to consumers in countries such as the USA and France and is being enjoyed by younger professionals in newer markets in Asia and Latin America.

"Exports have increased for seven years running contributing to delivering an export-led recovery, a focus for both the UK and Scottish Governments.

"Securing fair market access and reducing tariffs is a priority for the industry. A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union and South Korea came into force in July. India is a priority for this year. We are hopeful a FTA can be signed which will lead to a reduction in the onerous 150% import tariff. The industry in investing in Scotland to ensure it can seize these overseas opportunities."