Scotch whisky export value and volume reached record levels last year, according to industry figures released today (30 April).

A report from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) showed that Scotch earned GBP90 (US$180) every second for the UK last year, with the value of shipments increasing by 14% on 2006, to reach a new record of GBP2.8bn. Export volumes grew 8%, with the equivalent of 1.14bn bottles of Scotch being shipped overseas.

Blended Scotch whisky exports broke the GBP2bn barrier for the first time, with shipment values up 15% to GBP2.22bn, while malt exports rose by 11% in value to GBP454m, said the SWA.

Exports to Central & South America were up 4% in value and, similarly, Asia saw a lift of 4.5%. Shipments to North America were up 5.5%, while the EU saw an increase of 27%.
Exports to India were boosted by 36% in value to GBP33m due to tariff reform in the country in the middle of last year. South Africa saw exports grow further, by 9% in value to GBP91m.

The situation was not all rosy, however, with exports to Australia, which represents "the vast majority of regional exports", slipping in value terms, by 2% to GBP46m.

SWA chairman, and Diageo's CEO, Paul Walsh, said: "(These results) demonstrate that Scotch whisky's international appeal can mitigate against individual market or regional fluctuations. Announcements of new capital investment of GBP400m across the industry last year were a public vote of confidence in Scotch whisky's prospects and are good news for the wider economy."

Walsh added: "Distillers look to Government north and south of the border to continue to work with them to support future international competitiveness, tackling barriers to market access overseas, whilst also recognising the importance of a fair tax and regulatory environment at home."