Scotch Whisky exports increased in value by 12% in the 12 months to the end of June 2012, according to figures published today by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).
Growth was seen in the USA, Venezuela, Germany and in exports to Russia through the Baltic states in the first six months of this year. 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.
Venezuela, the ninth biggest market for Scotch, recorded significant growth - leaping 31% to £42m. In Europe, Germany saw exports increase 4% to £65m 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 SWA remains hopeful that a conclusion can be reached on the European Union/India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by the end of the year. The FTA would see a gradual reduction of the onerous 150% tariff on imported spirits. Reduction in that tariff would allow India to fulfil its potential to be one of the biggest markets for Scotch.
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 levelling 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."