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Whisky Magazine News - Top of the charts

Mon 25 Feb 2013

Top of the charts

France and the US will retain their top spots in the world ranking of leading Scotch whisky importers over the next five years, forecasts VINEXPO*, the world’s leading professional wine and spirits exhibition.

At the same time, some speedy newcomers are moving up the tables quickly, according to a study commissioned by VINEXPO from Wine and Spirits Research(IWSR).

Supremely ahead for the amount of Scotch whisky they drink, the French are expected to consume nearly 174 million bottles (14.5 million cases) this year. That is almost double the US, ranked No 2, which should see imports reach nearly 102 million bottles (8.5 million cases).

Both countries will retain their number 1 and 2 rankings over the next five years, though French consumption will fall slightly while consumption in the US will edge up (see table below)

The UK is in third position with consumption expected to be just under 72 million bottles (6 million cases) this year. However, consumption is likely to fall by as much as 3% by 2016. That will push the UK into fourth position among Scotch drinkers worldwide

Fast Russians
Leaping into number three spot by 2016 is Russia. Consumption is expected to rise swiftly from more than 56 million bottles (4.7 million cases) this year to nearly 78 million bottles (6.5 million cases) in five years’ time.


By 2016, the UK will be pushed into fourth place while Brazil, also a fast grower, will drop from number 4 to number 5. Nonetheless, Brazil will be consuming nearly
66 million bottles of whisky (5.5 million cases) by 2016.

Spain will drop out of the top five in line with steadily falling consumption
of Scotch whisky over the years. By 2016 consumption in Spain is forecast to
drop almost half to just over 48 million bottles (4 million cases) compared with nearly
96 million bottles (8 million cases) ten years previously.

World consumption of Scotch whisky should reach nearly 1.2 billion bottles (99.5 million cases) by 2016, estimates the data from VINEXPO/IWSR

M. Robert Beynat, Chief Executive of VINEXPO, said: “While consumption of whisky in
the UK is falling, exports are booming. The emerging countries with a growing middle class are keen to discover and drink Scotch whisky. Buyers from emerging countries seeking to source Scotch whisky were a feature of VINEXPO in 2011 and there are strong indications that we shall see similar interest at VINEXPO in June”.

Vive le Whisky!
Scotch Whisky consumption by 2016 by top five countries (in 000s of 9 litre cases)
France USA Russia UK Brazil
14.3 8.4 6.4 5.6 5.4

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