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Boom in Scotch whisky exports in past decade

Published:  02 January, 2014

Scotch whisky exports have almost doubled to £4.3 billion in the past decade, according to figures released by HMRC.

Analysis by the Scottish Government, based on the HMRC figures, shows Scotch whisky exports from the UK have increased by 87% in value from £2.3 billion in 2002 to £4.3 billion in 2012.

Export volumes have also grown significantly, with one third more Scotch whisky going overseas in the same period.

Scotland's food and drink minister Richard Lochhead said: "Scotch whisky is one of our most iconic products and these figures demonstrate the huge global demand for whisky. I've made growing the food and drink industry one of my main priorities since coming to office and I'm particularly pleased that these results show a 51% rise in the value of exports since 2007.

"We export to 173 countries, from the United States - which has more than doubled its spend on our national drink - Brazil and China, to Bermuda, Papua New Guinea and the Vatican City."

Lochead predicted continued good fortune for Scotch whisky throughout 2014, especially given the 50 million people worldwide with links to Scottish ancestry. "I have no doubt that some of them will be raising a glass of Scotland's finest as they bid a fond farewell to 2013 and look forward to the opportunities that 2014 can bring, especially as Scotland welcomes the world through Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup." 

Scotch whisky's biggest markets by value are the United States, which has grown from £302.5 million in 2002 to £756 million in 2012; France at £434 million; Singapore at £339 million; Spain at £195 million and Germany at £169 million.

By volume (net mass in kg), France takes the top spot, importing 104 million kg; the US imports 77 million; followed by Spain (43 million); Singapore (42 million) and Germany (35 million).