The world’s two most populous countries are Scotch Whisky’s fastest growing markets. Exports to India increased by 44.4% to over USD72.9 million in the first half of this year, to China increased by 34.8% to USD 48.2 million, according to statistics released by Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).
The SWA said Scotch Whisky, which has been exported all over the world for 150 years, is now being shipped to major emerging markets at a faster rate than ever before.
Total exports of Scotch Whisky the first half of this year increased to USD 2.56 billion by value, a 10.8% rise compared to the same period last year. By volume there is an increase of 5.6% to almost 558 million bottles.
Karen Betts, Chief Executive of SWA, said: "It's hugely encouraging to see Scotch Whisky exports continue to grow, and at double-digit rates, in the first half of this year,”
"Scotch Whisky is a luxury spirit, crafted with care in Scotland, and enjoyed all over the world, in established markets like the EU and emerging markets like India and China. As the UK leaves the EU, the industry wants to continue to trade with the EU as easily as it has while being able to pursue growth opportunities globally.”
The USA remains the largest export market by value at over USD 650million, with France largest by volume at almost 90m bottles. The European Union remains the biggest regional destination for Scotch, accounting for 39% of the volume of Scotch Whisky exports and 31% of their value.
Single Malts continue to grow in popularity, with exports up 14.4% to USD 715 million in the first six months of the year. Single Malts now make up 28% of the value of all Scotch shipped overseas.
Exports of Blended Scotch Whisky grew too, rising 8.9% to an export valuation of USD1.64 billion.
The SWA also expressed concern on the UK’s expected exit from the EU. They said it is important to the Scotch Whisky industry that the UK achieves a smooth exit from the EU, a 'no deal' Brexit could have an impact on growth in the European market.
(the writer can be contacted at: SusanLewis@thewinechronicle.com)