Scotch whisky exports have seen declines over the past few years

Scotch whisky exports have seen declines over the past few years

Scotch whisky exports grew six-month volumes for the first time in three years, new figures show, but sales remained down as key markets Taiwan and France underperformed.

Total export volumes in the first half of 2016 increased by 3% to 533m 70cl bottles, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said today. Global export value slipped 1% to GBP1.7bn (US$2.2bn).

The figures show Scotch whisky producers are managing to stem worrying declines over the past few years as key growth markets such as China faltered. They are also a slight improvement on 2015's full-year, in which export value dropped 2% and volumes fell 3%.

Growth in the six months was driven by India, which boosted volumes by 41% and value by 28%. The US, Scotch whisky's biggest market by value, further increased sales, up 9% despite a 3% volumes contraction.

Overall value was hit by a 5% sales drop in France, Scotch whisky's second-biggest destination for sales and biggest for volumes. Meanwhile, Taiwan's export value fell by 11%, endangering its fourth spot in the rankings.

South Korea continued to show weakness as demand for Scotch plummeted. Export volumes to the country were down 13% to 7.5m bottles, with value dropping 17% to GBP42m.

Volumes - 70cl bottles, 40% abv

JAN-JUN 2016JAN-JUN 2015% change
France90.9m86.5m5
US53.1m54.8m-3
India41m29.1m41
Spain29.2m28.5m3
Brazil23.6m22.7m4
Germany21.7m21.1m3
South Africa18.7m20.6m-9
Singapore18.6m16.3m15
Mexico18.5m21.9m-15
UAE13.5m12.5m8
Japan13.1m10.9m20
Australia12.6m13m-4

The SWA said the overall volumes growth showed a "strengthening in global consumer demand" compared to the last couple of years.

"The industry-wide emphasis on craftsmanship and provenance, backed by investment, means that Scotch exports are well-placed to grow in the future, appealing to consumers in both mature and emerging markets," SWA chief executive David Frost said.

The global market for single malt continued to grow, with export value increasing by 6% to GBP431m and volumes up 3% to 49m bottles. Single malts now represent a quarter of total shipment value, with exports more than doubling in value over the last decade. 

Bottled blended Scotch whisky volumes increased by 1% to 362m bottles, but export value dropped 4% to GBP1.16bn.

Value - GBP

JAN-JUN 2016JAN-JUN 2015% change
USGBP357.4mGBP32.6m9
FranceGBP193.1mGBP203.9-5
SingaporeGBP99.6mGBP92.3m8
TaiwanGBP74.7mGBP83.5m-11
SpainGBP71.2mGBP71.4m0
GemrnayGBP65.9mGBP63m4
UAEGBP63.2mGBP53.5m18
AustraliaGBP43.7mGBP37.4m17
IndiaGBP42.6mGBP33.3m28
South KoreaGBP42mGBP50.4m-17
South AfricaGBP39.9mGBP49.1m-19
MexicoGBP36.6mGBP43.5m-16

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