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International Trade

Scotch Whisky is the world's number one internationally traded spirit with exports worth over £5.6bn in 2023. 43 bottles of Scotch Whisky are shipped every second to around 168 global markets, totalling the equivalent of 1.35bn bottles (70cl @40% ABV).

Learn more about the industry's 2023 export figures

Key Markets

Here are some examples of markets where the SWA and our member companies work to improve access to the market for Scotch Whisky.

Asia Pacific

As in 2022, Asia-Pacific continued to dominate as Scotch Whisky’s largest regional market by value in 2023, supported record value exports to China, a market up 165% on 2019, and value uplifts Singapore (19%) and Taiwan (8%). Premiumisation of Scotch Whisky remains a driver in these key markets: single malt Scotch Whisky continued to rise in popularity among a growing cohort of consumers, with double digit growth in China and Singapore on 2022.


 Exports to India fell in volume and value compared to 2022, the fall coming against a backdrop of ongoing UK-India FTA talks and the Scotch Whisky industry’s calls for a trade agreement which lowers the 150% tariff on Scotch imports into India, which would lead to significant export growth to the market.

Learn more about the Indian market here.

The United States

The United States, which has long been Scotch Whisky’s biggest market by value, saw a sector-wide fall in exports of 7% compared to 2022, and 8.5% on 2019, to £978m. Industry figures say that these numbers are reflective of global economic conditions and rising living costs for consumers in the US, which remains a dynamic, competitive market for whisky, and the wider spirits category. Last year saw companies manage stock levels within market following restocking in 2022, and the industry expects the short-term export dip to realign over the course of 2024. However, the SWA has also warned that 2024 marks a halfway point for the five year removal of tariffs on single malt Scotch Whisky which were imposed in 2019, and has urged the UK government to press for longer-term tariff-free trade for Scotch in its talks with the US administration.

Download the 2023 Scotch Whisky export infographic here

UK-India trade talks

Learn more about the importance of the Indian market for Scotch Whisky, and how the Scotch Whisky industry can benefit from a UK-India trade deal.

news & commentary

17 August 2023

Scotch Whisky Exports Hold Steady After Record Year

Scotch Whisky exports in first half of 2023 show value holding steady while volume falls.

31 March 2023

SWA comments on UK accession to CPTPP

The SWA has commented on what the UK joining CPTPP means for the Scotch Whisky industry

22 March 2022

SWA welcomes suspension of UK tariffs on US whiskey

The UK has announced the suspension of tariffs on US whiskey

11 February 2022

2021 exports show industry on road to recovery

The SWA has released the 2021 global export figures for Scotch Whisky.

16 December 2021

SWA welcomes UK-Australia Trade Deal

The SWA has welcomed the elimination of the 5% tariff on Scotch Whisky.

11 December 2020

SWA welcomes UK-Vietnam trade agreement

The Scotch Whisky Association has welcomed the announcement of a trade agreement between the UK and Vietnam as good news for Scotch Whisky producers.

23 November 2020

UK-Canada agreement good news for Scotch Whisky exports

The SWA's statement on the UK-Canada trade agreement.

09 June 2020

UK-Japan talks can set tone for international trade ambitions

The SWA comments on the start of UK-Japan trade talks.

02 July 2019

SWA comments on USTR tariff list


01 February 2024

UK-India FTA Priorities

Find out more about the Scotch Whisky industry's priorities in UK-India trade talks.