Whisky exports up again

Whisky is still performing well around the world, when I say whisky, of course I mean whisky from Scotland. It is still the best dram in the world, looking at the details below, like me, you may find some surprises.

According to figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), export shipments of Scotch were worth £4.7bn in 2018, up 7.8% on 2017, the previous record year. Meanwhile, the equivalent of 1.28bn 70cl bottles was shipped overseas, up 3.6% and beating the previous record total of 1.26bn bottles, recorded in 2011. The success was spearheaded by the US, where exports were up 7.7% to £922m, and up 7.4% to 127m bottles; and by single malt, which continued its recent surge, rising 11.3% to £1.3bn.  The blended Scotch volumes fell back after staging a recovery in 2017, decreasing 4.7% to £3.04bn. European Union (EU) countries remain the mainstay of Scotch whisky exports, together accounting for 30% of global value and 36% of volume. India cemented its’ position as a significant importer of Scotch, with shipments up 34% by value and 26% by volume in the year, and there were significant export increases to Singapore, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Mexico. France, Scotch whisky’s biggest export market by volume, had a solid year, with shipments up 5.3% by volume and 2% by value. There were also increases in Taiwan, Latvia (a key supplier to Russia) and Brazil, but South Africa fell back.

Scotch whisky’s top 10 export markets by value, 2018 versus 2017

1.United States: £1,040m, +12.8%   2.France: £442m, +2.0%   3.Singapore: £320m, +10.0%   4.Germany: £174m, -5.3%   5.Spain: £170m, -2.6%   6.Taiwan: £168m, +5.0%   7.UAE: £147m, +13.2% (a non drinking country!)   8.India: £139m, +34.1%   9.Mexico: £132m, +18.5%   10.Latvia: £130m, +7.9%

Scotch whisky’s top 10 export markets by volume, 2018 versus 2017

1.France: 188m bottles, +5.3%   2.United States: 137m bottles, +7.4%   3.India: 113m bottles, +25.9%   4.Mexico: 60m bottles, +11.9%   5.Spain: 55m bottles, -9.5%   6.Japan: 51m bottles, +49.5%   7.Germany: 46m bottles, -18.3%   8.Singapore: 45m bottles, -4.5%   9.South Africa: 42m bottles, -19.5%   10.Brazil: 39m bottles, +7.5%  Source: HMRC, quoted by the Scotch Whisky Association

Based on the two lists above, of Brexit causes some troubles, just how many EU countries are in these lists?

Bulk whisky for bottling abroad and bottled single and blended grain whisky exports together amounted to £359m. The United States became the first billion pound overseas market for Scotch whisky by value, growing to £1.04bn last year. Rural Economy Secretary for Scotland Fergus Ewing welcomed the figures. “Of course Brexit continues to threaten that progress, particularly in relation to the European market which accounts for 30% of our exports. But we are doing what we can to support the sector against growing uncertainty, and ensure it remains one of the biggest contributors to Scotland’s economy.”

All we need really, is for Scotland to become independent, then reduce the tax on whisky, this would affect sales – less is more! Cannee wait.  Paul McLean, Perth.