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Single malt exports break £1 billion for the first time

Published:  21 February, 2017

Exports of single malt Scotch whisky have hit £1bn for the first time, the BBC has reported.

Single malt exports were valued at £1.02bn in 2016, according to figures from HM Revenue and Customs, up 9.6% from £914m in 2015.

The figures reflect a trend towards premiumisation, with single malt export volumes growing at a slower rate than values.

Single malts are now some 10% of overall Scotch exports by volume, but more than 25% of its value.

Exports of Scotch contribute some £4 billion to the UK economy, with over 90% of production destined for the export market.

The US is the largest market by value for Scotch, accounting for £854 million, up from £749 million in 2015.

However, France is the largest volume importer. In 2016, 189 million bottles were exported to France, valued at £424 million. Single malts accounted for £153 million of Scotch sales in the country.

The weakening of sterling post-Brexit may have contributed to the spirit's growth in 2016.

While export volumes increased across the year, export values were down 1% in the first half of 2016, rising 7% in the second half fell after the European referendum.