Exports saw a drop in volumes last year

Exports saw a drop in volumes last year

Export sales of Scotch whisky by value edged up to a record high last year, despite a 5% drop in volumes, according to latest figures. 

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) reported today (2 April) that export sales in 2012 hit GBP4.3bn (US$6.5bn) - a year-on-year rise of 1%. The group highlighted rising international demand for premium blended Scotch and single malts.

Export volumes, however, fell from 1.26bn 70cl bottles in 2011 to 1.19bn bottles last year.

France remained the biggest importer of Scotch by volume, but unit sales dived by 25% in 2012, as excise tax rises last year led to stocking up in 2011.

The US is still the biggest Scotch market by value, the figures show, with sales up by 16% to GBP758m last year. Spain took a hit in volumes and sales and was leapfrogged by Singapore, with the Asian country now the third biggest market by value for Scotch exports.

Venezuela was among the star performer for Scotch producers, with value sales up by 23% to GBP102.2m and volumes up by 12%.

Single malt exports have risen over the last ten years by 190% to GBP778m, the SWA said. The group attributed this to "increasing consumer knowledge of Scotch whisky around the world". 

Gavin Hewitt, the SWA's chief executive, said: "We are contributing massively to the Government’s wish for an export-led recovery."

He added: “There is confidence in the future of the industry, illustrated by the GBP2bn capital investment that Scotch whisky producers have committed over the next three to four years."

Click here for a look at a breakdown of the top 20 export markets in terms of value and volumes.