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British alcohol sales rise in CPTPP countries

Published:  04 January, 2024

Sales of British alcohol products such as English sparkling and Scotch whisky are on the rise in the Indo-Pacific region, the UK government has announced.

The uplift comes six months after the UK signed up to The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – an Asia-Pacific trade bloc made up of 11 other countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Leading the charge is Scotch whisky, which continues to dominate the Singapore market, with over £380m worth of exports from the UK to Singapore over the last year, an increase of 31% (£90m) in current prices on the previous year. Its popularity extends to other markets in CPTPP too, with a 43% (£11m) increase in Scotch whisky exports to Malaysia over the past year.

The Scotch Whisky Association CEO, Mark Kent said: “Exports of Scotch Whisky to the CPTPP countries have grown significantly in the past decade, collectively reaching more than £1.1bn in 2022.  

“The UK’s accession to CPTPP will open up new opportunities for Scotch whisky and other UK products in key markets in the region, including the phased elimination of Malaysia’s import tariff.   

“With the potential for more countries to join CPTPP in the coming years, Scotch whisky will benefit from further liberalisation in the region.”

Singapore and Malaysia are not the only countries with an increasing taste for British alcohol, in Japan, UK sparkling wine exports have increased by 140% to over £26m.

For Kent-based Balfour Winery, Japan – which buys more sparkling wine from the UK than any other CPTPP country – is by far its biggest market, totalling 35% of sales.

Adam Williams, COO and sales director of Balfour Winery said: “As a category, we are at the early stages in our export journey, but it’s clear that Japan is a hugely exciting market for English Wine.

“It is a mature market for premium wine, especially for high-quality sparkling wine, something that English wineries rightly have a worldwide reputation for.  

“We’re looking forward to working closely in the market to build awareness of our wine.”