Scotch is growing export sales and volumes

Scotch is growing export sales and volumes

Scotch sales in the US have jumped by almost a third in the first half of this year as surging global whisky exports defied predictions of a slowdown, new figures have shown.

Scotch export sales in the six months to the end of June increased by 11% to come in just short of GBP2bn (US$3.12bn), the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) reported today (4 September). Volumes grew by 9% over the same period to 563m bottles, the SWA said.

In the US, Scotch's biggest market, sales soared by 29% to GBP391m in the first half of the year as mature markets recovered from a slowdown in 2012. France saw exports grow by 6% to GBP199m, while Singapore jumped by 19% to GBP174m.

2012, which saw volumes drop by 5% and sales value edge up marginally, had sparked some concern that economic woes in Europe had put paid to Scotch's fast growth.

However, the SWA today said that it is confident of future expansion and that money pouring in to to new facilities, such as Diageo's planned GBP50m malt whisky distillery in the Highlands, proves the industry's robust health.

“Significant new investment in the industry in Scotland by Scotch whisky producers reflects the belief that growth will be sustainable,” Gavin Hewitt, SWA's chief executive, said.

China, where anti-gifting measures have damaged spirits sales, bucked the growth trend, posting a 20% decline to GBP25m in the value of direct exports.

Other emerging markets were stronger, with Mexico becoming Scotch's ninth-biggest market as exports increased by 67% to GBP54m. Exports to Brazil grew by 42% to GBP49m and Venezuela was up 9% to GBP46m.

Meanwhile, exports to Germany jumped by 28% and to Latvia by 6%. Direct exports to Poland reached GBP20m, a 10-fold increase since 2004 when the country joined the European Union, SWA said.

Exports to South Africa increased by 19% to GBP65m.

Click here to view a table of the top 20 export markets for Scotch in the first half of 2013.