Scotch whisky exports rise to a record high of almost £3bn

27 August, 2008
Page 6 
Export sales of Scotch whisky topped £2.8 billion last year, setting a record high for the industry.

Exports increased 14 per cent compared to 2006, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) announced. Several distilleries, both large and small, are now investing in facilities to take advantage of growing markets such as China and India.

Scotch whisky exports earned £90 every second for the UK last year, according to the SWA. Export volume also grew 8 per cent to an historic high, with the equivalent of 1.135 billion bottles shipped overseas, added the SWA, using figures released by the UK Revenue & Customs.

Bottled blended Scotch whisky exports broke the £2 billion barrier for the first time, with shipment value up 15 per cent, to £2.22 billion. Bottled malt exports rose by 11 per cent in value, to £454 million.

SWA chairman and Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh said: "This is all the more impressive given the economic difficulties encountered in certain markets during the second half of 2007, and demonstrates that Scotch whisky's international appeal can mitigate against individual market or regional fluctuations.

Exports to most regions increased over the year, with shipments to Central and South America (+4 per cent in value), Asia (+4.5), North America (+5.5) and the European Union (+27) all growing. Tariff reform in the middle of 2007 gave exports to India a boost, up 36 per cent in value to £33 million. South Africa's rise into the industry's top 10 markets continued, with exports up 9 per cent in value, to £91 million).

Figures may reflect the final destination of consignments. They are based on individual company declarations of the export value and volume of shipments to each market, so the figures do not represent sales/consumption of Scotch whisky in those markets.