Whisky news worth drinking to

The value of single malt Scotch whisky sales have soared to more than £1billion for the first time.

The boom in premium quality Scotch comes amid a surge in demand for all types of whisky following a few years of levelling off and small declines as a result of economic and political uncertainty in some markets.

Scotch rocks as global demand grows

New figures from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) reveal that overseas whisky sales increased overall by 4 percent last year to more than £4billion, accounting for up to 73 percent of total Scottish food and drink exports.

Bottled Blended Scotch Whisky remains by far the biggest seller. It accounted for 69 percent of all Scotch volumes and values exported in 2016. Bottled Blended Scotch has traditionally been the largest category of Scotch and last year value increased for the first time since 2012 by 1.4 percent to £2.75bn.

However, Single Malt was a stand-out performer last year. With exports of the premium product growing at a faster rate than that of Scotch overall, market share is increasing. It now makes up just over a quarter of the total value of exports.

Despite fears over the UK’s decision to leave the EU Scotch remains the biggest net contributor to the UK’s balance of trade in goods.It’s estimated that £127 worth of Scotch is sold every second with exports going to 182 countries.

Photograph by: HajotthuGlenmorangie stills

The European Union remains the top destination for exports, worth around £1.2bn of the total while North America is the second largest, taking exports worth more than £1bn, followed by Asia with shipments of £768m.

Last year saw increased demand from a number of larger European markets, including Spain, the fourth biggest market, up almost 10 percent to £167m; Germany, the number five market, up 13 percent to £164m and Poland, up 19 percent to £63m.

India is also becoming increasingly significant with value of exports up almost 14 percent to £97m to make it the ninth biggest market for Scotch. Exports to China increased 0.5 percent to £41m with the market continuing on an upward trend.

Julie Hesketh-Laird, Scotch Whisky Association acting chief executive, said: “With Scotch Whisky exports returning to growth and rising to more than £4 billion, and Single Malts exceeding £1bn for the first time, we’re feeling optimistic about the future.

“Demand is rising in mature markets, such as the USA, and newer markets, including China. This confidence is reflected in the number of new distilleries – 14 have been opened in the last few years and we know of about another 40 in at various stages of planning.”

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