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Gin exports on track to reach £600m in 2018

Published:  14 August, 2018

The UK has further cemented its status as the largest exporter of gin in the world with yet another record-breaking start to the year.

According to HMRC, from January to June 2018 exports of British-made gin reached a high of £279 million, putting it on track to beat last year’s total exports, which broke the half billion mark (£530m) for the first time.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) is predicting exports will reach £600m this year.

New figures from HMRC show that gin’s popularity continues to grow overseas alongside the wider UK food and drinks industry, which grew 4% compared to the same period last year to an all time high of £10.6 billion.

The figures from DEFRA, shows food and drink exports were helped along by a rise in fresh produce exports, with meat the most popular commodity.

The UK does however send more gin around the world than beef, which totalled £217 million in exports in H1 2018.

Gin was worth more than beer (£235 million); while whisky was far in the lead, worth £2 billion. 

Thanks to a surge in popularity of British gin over the past decade, UK gin exports were worth more in the first six months of 2018 than sales for the whole of 2008, when sales overseas were worth £258 million.

North America remains the largest importer of UK gin, with sales to the US, Mexico and Canada worth £150m.

On its own, the US imported £93 million worth of British gin, a rise of almost £5 million on the same period in 2017.

The EU was worth £129m, up 19% on the first half of 2017.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said today there remains “huge potential for growth” and called on the government to help the UK industry take further advantage of its success.

“On leaving the EU, we want more government support to increase exports to developed markets such as Australia, Japan, China and the US. The EU represents a huge market for British gin, therefore it essential that we secure frictionless trade with Europe to ensure we maintain our position as the world's largest spirits exporter and further boost the UK economy and provide more jobs.”