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Scotch whisky FY exports fall as US demand falters

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Export sales of Scotch whisky dropped by 7% in value terms last year as the category suffered in the US, its biggest market, new figures show.

Total export value in the 12 months to the end of December fell to GBP3.95bn (US$5.8bn) compared to GBP4.26bn the previous year, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) reported today. Global export volumes also slipped, by 3% to 1.19bn 70cl bottles.

Exports to the US, meanwhile, dropped by 9% in value to GBP748m, a big turnaround from 2013 when exports increased by 8%.

Other poor performers included Brazil, which saw export values fall by 20%, and Singapore and China, where values declined by 39% and 23% respectively.

Despite the falls, the SWA said Scotch's long-term fundamentals were strong, blaming "weaker economic conditions and political volatility" for the overall slide.

"It shows that the industry’s success cannot be taken for granted and that we must continue to argue for more open markets and ambitious trade deals that tackle barriers to market access," said SWA's chief executive, David Frost.

There were some bright spots for Scotch, including in France, the category's biggest market by volume and second biggest by value. Sales in the country rose by 2% in 2014 to GBP445m and volumes by 3% to 183m bottles, a rebound following a tax increase in 2012.

For a look at the list of top markets by value and volume, click here.


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