Scotch exports fell in both sales and volumes

Scotch exports fell in both sales and volumes

Scotch whisky exports dropped by 11% in value in the first half of the year as sales in some core markets fell by as much as half.

Overall export sales for the liquid in the six months to June were GBP$1.77bn (US$2.89bn) compared to GBP1.99bn over the same period last year, according to figures released by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) today. Volumes in the period dipped by 5.5% to 532bn bottles. 

The SWA blamed economic headwinds and uncertainty, with chief executive David Frost saying the downward trend was a “reminder that the success of Scotch whisky can’t be taken for granted”.

Scotch's biggest export market by sales, the US, saw sales fall by 16% to GBP327.7m in the six-month period. Sales to third-placed Singapore dropped by 46% to GBP94m, while Germany, Scotch's sixth-biggest market by sales, suffered a 22% drop to GBP65.2m.

China, meanwhile dropped out of the top 20 by sales to 29th as export sales fell by 39% to GBP15m. A spokesperson for the SWA blamed government anti-gifting measures for the plunge, which follows a 30% export sales drop for the country in full-year figures released in April.

The China market is expected to recover in the long-term, the spokesperson added.

There was some good news in today's figures. France, Scotch's second biggest export market by sales and largest by volume, saw export sales increase by 6% to GBP201.7m and shipments climb by 3% to 85.7m bottles. Fourth-placed Taiwan grew sales by 39% to GBP91m.

Frost said: “We are confident that Scotch whisky will continue to grow in the long-term as markets stabilise and new ones, such as emerging economies across Africa, open up. However, it is clear that in the short-run that there are economic headwinds affecting exports.”


  JAN-JUN 2014 JAN-JUN 2013 % change
USA £327.7million £391m -16%
France £210.7m £198.8m 6%
Singapore £94m £173.8m -46%
Taiwan £91m £65.4m 39%
Spain £78.5m £81.8m -4%
Germany £65.2m £83.4m -22%
South Africa £58.7m £65m -10%
UAE £54m £42.8m 26%
South Korea £52.5m £59.6m -12%
Brazil £40.1m £49.4m -19%
Mexico £39m £53m -27%
Australia £37.4m £36m 4%
India £36.1m £27.6m 31%
Japan £32.5m £27.5m 18%
Panama £30.9m £31.2m -1%
Canada £29.6m £28.4m 5%
Netherlands £28m £27m 3%
Turkey £25.1m £23.7m 6%
Lebanon £22.9m £18.1m 26%
Latvia £22.8m £33.5m -32%

In volume terms,...


  JAN-JUN 2014 JAN-JUN 2013 % change
France 85.6million 82.7m 3%
USA 54.7m 61.8m -12%
India 32.6m 24.5m 33%
Brazil 29.9m 28.3m 5%
Spain 26.4m 25.7m 3%
Germany 23.3m 25.2m -8%
South Africa 22m 23.7m -7%
Singapore 18m 33.9m -47%
Mexico 16.6m 18.1m -8%
Thailand 13.9m 11m 26%
UAE 13m 10.8m 21%
Australia 11.6m 12.8m -10%
Panama 10.2m 7.1m 44%
South Korea 9.9m 12.5m -21%
Taiwan 9m 9m 0%
Japan 8.9m 6.7m 33%
Netherlands 8.8m 7.4m 19%
Italy 6.5m 6.4m 2%
Estonia 6.3m 4.1m 53%
Turkey 6.2m 6m 2%