European Union spirits exports 2016 - data

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Earlier this week, trade association SpiritsEurope released its 2016 trade review for the spirits segment, detailing the performance of the region's spirits industry in its export markets. Here, just-drinks takes a look at the headline numbers from the report.

Despite seeing European spirits exports in value terms rise by 5% last year, coming in at EUR10.2bn (US$11.4bn), the devaluation of the UK pound following the country's Brexit referendum a year ago pulled EU spirits exports down in reported terms in 2016.

EU Spirits Exports by Segment - 2016

Source: Eurostat 2016

The whisk(e)y segment accounts for just under half of all EU spirits exports, with Scotch whisky dominating. Here, then, is why, the fall in the pound's value hit performance last year.

Top Ten Export Markets for EU Spirits - 2016

Source: Eurostat 2016

The US is vitally important to Europe's spirits companies, accounting for almost five times the amount of spirits exports in value terms as second-placed Singapore. Whisk(e)y and Cognac hog almost a third of spirits exports each to the country, followed by vodka at 16%. For all the talk of a gin resurgence, the segment remains a minnow, accounting for just 6%.

Europe has made great strides in the US, which offers zero tariff access to spirits companies. A possible cloud looms, however. "The recent shift in the US approach on trade policy adds a wildcard into the mix," the review warns. "A tougher trade posture would significantly impact our trade relationship with the US."

Second-placed Singapore is a hub for the EU's supply chain model, with the vast bulk of its spirits imports destined for other markets nearby.

China, meanwhile, has bounced back from the spirits headache of 2013/14, when anti-extravagance measures hit international spirits hard - consider the damage wrought on Remy Cointreau's sales in 2014 and 2015. Cognac dominates, with 83% of EU spirits exports to the country, with whisk(e)y a distant second with 12.5%.

Top Ten Export Markets for EU Spirits - 2016 v 2015

Value (in EURm)+/- 2015+/- TenYear (2006)
The US4054649

Source: Eurostat 2016

It's clear where the impressive growth is coming from, with China growing markedly last year. Indeed, on a ten-year basis, the country has impressed and, with over 95% of China's total spirits consumption coming from domestically-produced baijiu, international spirits will be hoping for continued growth, with fewer regulatory bumps.

To read the full review, click here.

Sectors: Spirits

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