JAPAN BECAME MOST VALUABLE EXPORT MARKET FOR AMERICAN WHISKEY
By Susan Lewis
Japan has become the most valuable export market for American whiskey last year on the backdrop of tariff spat between USA and European Union (EU), which is traditionally American whiskey’s biggest export market.
American whiskey exports to Japan was worth USD 96 million in 2021, accounting for almost 10 percent of the total value of the exports at USD971 million.
The United Kingdom was the category’s second most valuable export market in 2021 valued at USD88m, followed by Australia at USD85m, France at USD78m and then Germany at USD76m.
India being the world's biggest consumer of whisky/whiskey, was not among the 5 most valuable markets because of the lower per bottle value of the products they imported.
This is also true for exports of Scotch whisky to India, the country is the second biggest importer by volume, but is only the eighth most valuable market.
According to Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), Japanese consumers’ taste for American whiskey likely stems from America’s influence in the post-war period.
Beam Suntory, an American subsidiary of Osaka-based Suntory Holdings, is owner of several major Bourbon brands, including Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek. Recently, the company cited premium brands as the driving force behind its sales growth.
It’s worth noting that Japan was partly propelled to become American whiskey’s most valuable market beacuse the tariff spat between USA and EU including the UK.
The EU imposed a 25 percent tariff on American whiskey and Bourbon between June 2018 and late 2021 in retaliation of trade disputes with USA related to Airbus.
Exports of American whiskey to the UK declined by 42 precent in 2021 because of the punitive tariffs.
American whiskey is popular among UK consumers, an opinion poll found that Jack Daniel’s is the third most popular alcohol brand in the country, behind only Baileys in first place and Smirnoff in second.
(the writer can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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