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British gin exports exceed £500 million for the first time

Published:  12 February, 2018

Exports of British gin have broken the half a billion-pound mark for the first time.

New figures from HMRC show UK gin exports reached £530 million in 2017 - the highest ever for gin exports, totaling around 189 million (70cl) bottles (up from around 177 million bottles in 2016).

This means that British gin exports have more than doubled since 2008 when sales overseas were worth £258 million.

The USA remains the largest single importer of UK gin, with sales worth £184 million, up almost £12 million on 2016.

By region however, the EU is still by far the biggest destination for UK gin, with the European market seeing growth of 16% last year.

Within the EU, Spain is the largest market, with £100m of gin sales, meaning that the Spanish gin market is bigger than the next five markets (Germany, Italy, France, Greece and Belgium) combined.

Exports of gin has become big business for UK distillers.

Britain sends more gin around the world than it does beef, and increased 12% by value and 7% by volume in the last year, making the UK “by some margin, the largest exporter of gin in the world, with huge potential for growth,” said WSTA chief executive, Miles Beale.

Meanwhile, domestic gin sales continued to grow in 2017.

Sales hit £1.2 billion in 12 months (to September 2017), with Brits buying the equivalent of over 47 million bottles – an increase of 7 million bottles compared to the same period the previous year.