Volume of Scotch exports grow in first half of 2016
16 Sep 2016
Industry body calls for early clarity on UK's future
The first six months of 2016 were marked by improving Scotch
Whisky export performance, according to new analysis published
today by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).
Despite continued economic and political volatility in some
markets, Scotch Whisky's global export volume grew by 3.1% over the
first half of the year, with the equivalent of 533 million 70cl
bottles shipped overseas, up from 517m bottles in the first half of
2015. This was the first growth in volume since the first half of
The customs value of shipments was down slightly by just 1% over
the same period to £1.70 billion from £1.71bn in the first six
months of last year. This drop was much smaller than the decline in
value of almost 3% experienced in the first half of 2015, another
clear sign of improvement.
Encouragingly, the global market for Single Malt Scotch Whisky
continued to grow, with export value increasing by 6% to £431m and
volume up 3% to 49m bottles. Single Malts now represent a quarter
of total shipment value, with exports more than doubling in value
over the last decade.
Bottled Blended Scotch Whisky continues to represent the lion's
share of exports. While volumes increased by 1% to 362m bottles,
export value was down 4% to £1.16bn, which may reflect the growth
in Single Malts.
On a market basis, there were promising signs in the industry's
largest market by value, the United States. Exports increased by 9%
in value to £357m, with both Single Malts, up 22%, and bottled
Blended Scotch Whisky, up 6%, enjoying growth. This reflected
premiumisation in the sector.
The growth of exports to India also stood out, with value up 28%
to £43m. The SWA argued that the full potential of the Indian
market would only be delivered through liberalisation of the
exorbitant 150% basic customs duty, urging the UK Government to
prioritise discussions with India as it develops its post-Brexit
The new figures cover the first half of 2016 and only one week
of the period after the European Union referendum vote. The SWA
pointed to the long-term challenges of defining the UK's future
trading relationship with both the EU single market and other
countries. In the short term, however, the weakness of sterling
since the Brexit vote is likely to boost export
David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive,
"The first half of 2016 was marked by an improving Scotch Whisky
export performance, suggesting a strengthening in global consumer
demand compared to the last couple of years. The industry-wide
emphasis on craftsmanship and provenance, backed by investment,
means that Scotch exports are well-placed to grow in the future,
appealing to consumers in both mature and emerging
"It is clear, however, that the uncertainties of the Brexit vote
will create challenges for exporters and we continue to encourage
early clarity on the likely shape of the UK's future trading
relationship with the EU and other countries. We are working
closely with our members and government to ensure the industry's
trade priorities are well understood, to promote open markets, and
to identify opportunities to grow our exports in the future.
"Given the continued international uncertainty, we also look to
government to make every effort to put in place a competitive
domestic tax and regulatory environment, supporting a key
Please see table of top 20 markets by value and volume and an
analysis of the figures -available to download below.
The SWA works to sustain Scotch Whisky's place as the world's
leading high quality drink and its long-term growth
For more information on the SWA visit www.scotch-whisky.org.uk and
follow us on Twitter @ScotchWhiskySWA.
With media queries, please contact Rosemary Gallagher, SWA head of
communications (0131 222 9230 or 07432 605385 or email email@example.com)