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British wine and gin under the spotlight ahead of Saturday's match

Published:  06 July, 2018

Ever wondered how much wine and spirits the UK exports to Sweden?

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has taken this weekend’s quarterfinal World Cup clash as an excuse to find out.

Taking gin as the primary example, it turns out UK exports of gin to Sweden were worth £4.9 million last year, putting Sweden in the top 10 export destinations of British gin in the EU.

This is a tiny proportion of the total however and accounts for less than 1% of the juniper-based spirit leaving the UK's shores. 

As the biggest exporter of gin worldwide, the UK sold over £530 million worth of British gin abroad in 2017 according to HMRC.

This is the equivalent of around 189 million (70cl) bottles, up from around 177 million in 2016.

Sweden meanwhile, exported zero gin and just over £1.2 million worth of wine to the UK last year.

Wine exports from the UK to into Sweden's tightly regulated and government-owned chain of liquor stores known domestically as Systembolaget totalled over £15.8 million.

Only a small proportion of this was English wine: the bulk of the wine is imported from across the globe, bottled in the UK and re-exported.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale, said he expects this weekend’s match to provide a further boon for UK products, with a firmament of “high-class gins and wines” for consumers to choose from.

“If England win on Saturday we hope the whole country will celebrate with a G&T or a glass of English wine. You’ll be using less CO2 and supporting two Great British industries,” he said.

He also drew attention to the UK as a hub of the global wine industry – and a place where much of the world’s wines and spirits are bottled and reshipped.

Sweden is just one of such countries in the EU, while the most important markets further afield inlcude countries in the Far East and China, Singapore and Hong Kong.

According to the WSTA, wine comes in at number six on a list of the UK’s most exported food and drink products, reinforcing the UK’s status a global wine hub.