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Global exports of Scotch Whisky reached record levels in 2009 despite the economic downturn in some major markets, according to annual figures published by The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) last month. Here, we take a closer look at the figures.

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  • Scotch whisky exports rose by 3% in value to GBP3.13bn (US$4.60bn) in 2009, contributing GBP99 every second to the UK trade balance. Export volumes increased by 4% worldwide, with the equivalent of 1.1bn 70cl bottles of Scotch Whisky shipped.
  • After a slow start to the year caused by trade de-stocking and weaker consumer confidence, the SWA reported an impressive export performance in the second half of 2009. In comparison to 2008, an extra GBP71m of blended Scotch whisky was exported during the year (+3%), with malt Scotch whisky shipments rising by GBP4m (+1%).
  • In the European Union, exports to France continued to grow at an impressive rate (+13% to GBP407m). Shipment value has more than doubled since 2000 and was above GBP400m for the first time ever in 2009. The weak Spanish economy impacted on exports to that market (-5% to GBP316m).
  • The US remained Scotch whisky’s largest export market by value (+13% to GBP419m), with blended Scotch whisky shipments particularly strong despite challenging economic conditions. There was also promising growth in Mexico (+25% to GBP42m). In Central & South America, Brazil is fast emerging as a major export market for blended Scotch whisky. Total Scotch whisky shipments to the market rose by 44% to GBP60m, more than double export levels in 2000. There continued to be volatile conditions however, experienced in Venezuela (+73% to GBP116m).
  • In Asia, Scotch whisky exports to South Korea continue to be a barometer for the overall economic picture in that country with exports down 24% to GBP113m. However, as the economy recovers, there are signs that the market will improve in 2010, the report notes. For the first time since 2001, exports to Japan grew in value (+3% to GBP42m) and South Africa consolidated its position as one of Scotch whisky’s top ten export markets, with shipments up 7% to GBP108m.

 

Click here to view the full release.


Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Scotch Whisky Association

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