According to figures released by the Scotch Whisky Association, Scotch whisky exports continued to grow in 2011 hitting a record £4.2 billion in shipment value, up 23% on 2010.

Rising demand in both emerging and more mature markets resulted in export values increasing by an average of 10% a year over the last five years. It now contributes £134 per second to the UK balance of trade.

Exports to the USA, the largest market by value, broke the £600 million barrier for the first time in 2011 to reach £654.9 million – up 31% on 2010. France, the second largest market, saw exports grow by 27% to £535.4 million.

In the full 12 months to the end of June 2012, value of Scotch whisky exports increased by 12% to £4.2 billion from £3.8 billion.

In the first six calendar months of 2012 growth was seen in the USA, Venezuela, Germany and in exports to Russia through the Baltic states. Asia remained steady with good growth in Taiwan. This helped Scotch whisky exports maintain their value in the first half of 2012 at £1.8 billion, despite continuing pressure in some Eurozone countries and the after-effect of an increase of shipments to France last year ahead of a substantial tax rise.

In the first half of 2012, exports to the USA jumped by 13% to £303 million and it remains the biggest market by value for Scotch whisky. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (Discus) Scotch Malt volume was up 13.0% to 1.6 million cases in 2012, while revenue was up 16.4% to US$515 million. Single Malt Scotch continues its rapid growth, concentrated in high end and super premium products. During 2012 as a whole there were 53 new product introductions. Blended Scotch volume was down by -0.4% to 7.6 million cases, but revenue was up 3.9% to US$1.3 billion. There was strong growth in high end & super premium blended Scotch categories.

Venezuela, the ninth biggest market for Scotch, recorded significant growth – leaping 31% to £42 million. In Europe, Germany saw exports increase 4% to £65 million in the first six months of the year. Latvia and Estonia now appear in the top 20 markets, reflecting a surge in demand in Russia. India saw an increase of 28% to £28m and the Scotch Whisky Association remains hopeful that a conclusion can be reached on the European Union/India Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The FTA would see a gradual reduction of the onerous 150% tariff on imported spirits into India. Reduction in that tariff would allow India to fulfill its potential to be one of the biggest markets for Scotch. Meanwhile Scotch whisky continues to attract younger, affluent consumers in newly emerging markets and this trend is expected to continue.

Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said:
“Over the past year the value of Scotch whisky exports has continued to increase and we’re delighted to build on our outstanding success in 2011 with 12% growth in the last 12 months. While there has been a leveling off in the first half of this year, the industry remains confident about the future. Recent announcements of investments in new distilleries and the expansion of existing facilities demonstrate the level of confidence producers have in future growth opportunities.”

VALUE (£m)

USA £303.6 £267.6 +13%
FRANCE £188 £219.8 -14%
SINGAPORE £146.2 £148.5 -1.5%
TAIWAN £80 £70.3 +14%
SPAIN £74 £97.1 -24%
SOUTH KOREA £65.7 £66.7 -0.06%
GERMANY £66 £62.4 +4.48%
SOUTH AFRICA £54.8 £65.5 -16.4%
VENEZUELA £42 £32 +31%
UAE £39.5 £41.9 -5.9%
BRAZIL £35 £44.8 -22%
MEXICO £32 £30.3 +5%
LATVIA £32 £17.8 +77%
JAPAN £31.6 £40.2 -21%
CHINA £31 £30.6 +1.6%
AUSTRALIA £28.6 £27.8 +2.5%
INDIA £28.3 £22 +28%
CANADA £26.3 £24.4 +8%
ESTONIA £24.8 £18.4 +35%
ARUBA £22.7 £17.3 +31%


Diageo, the biggest distiller of Scotch whisky has reported strong sales growth in the second half of 2012. Volumes were up 6%, with their value rising by 10%. Spearheaded by Johnnie Walker, the rise was led by a big growth in emerging markets, including China, Mexico and South Africa. That offset a sharp fall in Scotch sales, particularly the J&B brand, in France, Spain and Greece.
The already growing market for Scotch whisky in Latin America received a further boost in December with the signing of two agreements to create fairer market conditions.

The European Union’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Colombia/Peru and its Association Agreement with Central America(*), ratified by the European Parliament, will create a more level playing field for Scotch whisky imports in these growing markets.

Direct Scotch whisky exports to Central and South America reached £489m in 2011, up 38% on 2010. Exports to Peru increased by 97% to £18m in 2011 and to Colombia they were up by 74% to £24m. However, Scotch whisky is still a relatively small part of the spirits markets in these countries, meaning there is great potential for more growth.

(*)The Central America Association Agreement covers the markets of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

The main benefits of the above agreements for Scotch whisky are:
• The gradual elimination of the tariffs on EU spirits, including Scotch whisky. The tariff on whisky is currently 15% in Colombia and 9% in Peru. In Central America, tariffs range from 5% in Honduras to 30% in El Salvador.

• New mechanisms to tackle discriminatory taxation, such as excise taxes that favour locally produced spirits in Colombia and Peru.

• Robust legal protection for the Scotch whisky Geographic Indication (GI) – this recognises Scotch whisky as a product only made in Scotland.

David Williamson, deputy director of international affairs at the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “We have been pushing hard in favour of these trade agreements with Central America, Peru and Colombia. We are delighted they have now been ratified. The agreements will help deliver a more predictable and level playing field for Scotch whisky producers.

“Tariff elimination, new mechanisms to tackle discriminatory taxes, and better legal protection for Scotch whisky will all support industry growth in the region, and therefore the UK economy which is looking for an export-led recovery.”

(millions of nine-litre cases)

BRAND OWNER 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Johnnie Walker Diageo 15.80 16.30 15.30 16.90 18.00
Ballantine’s Pernod Ricard 6.17 6.50 5.76 6.18 6.47
Grant’s William Grant & Sons 4.79 4.97 4.78 4.99 4.97
Chivas Regal Pernod Ricard 4.37 4.57 3.87 4.50 4.89
J & B Rare Diageo 5.90 5.90 5.10 4.80 4.80
Dewar’s Bacardi 3.50 3.41 3.24 3.27 3.19
William Peel Belvedere 1.78 2.12 2.35 2.50 2.90
Famous Grouse Edrington 2.90 2.70 2.50 2.70 2.80
Bell’s Diageo 2.30 2.20 2.30 2.40 2.50
Label 5 La Martiniquaise 1.91 1.98 2.16 2.27 2.50
William Lawson’s Bacardi 1.30 1.50 1.59 1.69 2.29
Teacher’s Beam Inc 1.98 1.96 1.73 1.89 2.05
Clan Campbell Pernod Ricard 1.64 1.72 1.76 1.76 1.96
Whyte & Mackay United Spirits na na na 1.50 1.80
100 Pipers Pernod Ricard 2.50 2.25 2.03 1.73 1.71
Buchanan’s Diageo 1.60 1.50 1.30 1.40 1.60
Sir Edwards Bardinet 1.27 1.05 1.09 1.19 1.35
Cutty Sark Edrington 1.80 1.70 1.40 1.40 1.30
White Horse Diageo na na na na 1.20e
Clan MacGregor William Grant & Sons 1.26 1.32 1.32 1.15 1.14
Passport Pernod Ricard na na na 0.90 1.10
Black Horse Diageo na na na na 1.06e
lenfiddich Malt William Grant & Sons 0.88 0.85 0.80 0.95 1.03
Old Parr Diageo na na na na 1.03e


The above article was sourced by Drinksinfo Ltd’s associate company BFP Beverage Research. BFP Beverage Research is a UK based boutique market consultancy specialising in the international beverage industry and is available for consultation in respect of your bespoke research needs.

Contact us – bfpbeverageresearch@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter @Allthebeverages

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