Exports hit another high for Scotch in 2018 - data

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Scotch whisky exports to the US broke the GBP1bn barrier for the first time last year, according to figures released today.

Citing data from HM Revenue & Customs, the Scotch Whisky Association said that shipments of Scotch in the 12 months of 2018 totalled GBP4.7bn (US$6.06bn). The figure represents a 7.8% increase on the year-prior. In volume terms, exports also rose, by 3.6% to 1.28bn 70cl bottles.

Scotch Whisky Exports 2018: Top ten markets by value

The USFranceSingaporeGermanySpainTaiwanUAEIndiaMexicoLatvia

Source: Scotch Whisky Association

The US, Scotch's biggest market in value terms, took in GBP1.04bn-worth of exports last year, the SWA noted. While most of the rest of the top ten markets delivered growth, Germany and Spain both declined slightly, by 5.3% and 2.6%, respectively.

Singapore, which services the Chinese market, was the star performer for Scotch, jumping 20.4% in the year to almost GBP350m. Volumes to Singapore, however, dipped by 4.5%, signifying the popularity in China of higher-priced Scotch whisky expressions.

Scotch Whisky Exports 2018: Top ten markets by volume

FranceThe USIndiaMexicoSpainJapanGermanySingaporeSouth AfricaBrazil

Source: Scotch Whisky Association

In volume terms, France retained the top spot, posting a 5.3% increase in shipments. The US also grew, by 7.3%. Germany and Spain were both down, as was South Africa, by approaching 20%.

"These figures underscore the strength of the Scotch whisky category, which has continued to grow despite the challenges posed by Brexit and by tensions in the global trading system," said SWA chief executive Karen Betts. "A key driver for global growth is the growing market for premium spirits. Scotch whisky is in a great position to take advantage of this, given its unrivalled reputation for quality, authenticity and provenance."

Betts also noted the need for less market uncertainty to ensure the longer-term success of Scotch. "We operate in a competitive global marketplace," she added. "A competitive business environment in Scotland and across the UK is vital to Scotch whisky's success.

"For Scotch, that means fair and balanced regulation and taxes, including excise duty, to give distillers the confidence to invest in future growth. We also want to see the UK and EU agree to an open and positive future relationship, which delivers frictionless trade with the EU, and the UK to secure ambitious trading relationships with key markets around the world.

"In that context, it is important to our industry, as to many others, that the UK does not leave the EU without a deal at the end of March. We are urging the Government and parliamentarians to work together constructively and pragmatically to ensure that an agreement is reached as quickly as possible."

Scotch Whisky Exports 2018: By Region

European Union1392
North America1260.3
Asia & Oceania1127.5
LatAm & Caribbean368.4
Africa (Sub-Saharan)158.2
Western Europe (non-EU)84.7
Eastern Europe (non-EU)30.8

Source: Scotch Whisky Association

Why the spirits category needs to rethink its future positioning - Click here for a just-drinks comment

Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Scotch Whisky Association

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