Scotch whisky exports grew strongly, defying global economic uncertainty, in the first six months of 2011.
Global shipments of Scotch whisky between January and June 2011 reached £1.8 billion, up 22% on the £1.47bn achieved in the first half of 2010, according to figures released today by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).
The USA remains the top export market by value for Scotch with shipments hitting £268m, up from £233.7m – an increase of around 14%. France, the second most valuable market, rose by 13% to £219.5m.
Emerging markets are becoming increasingly important to Scotch Whisky producers. Growth in Asia and South America was very strong. Shipments to Central and South America reached £214.4m in the first six months of the year, a 49% jump on the same period in 2010. Exports to Asia increased by 33% to £422.5m.
Taiwan is now a top five market for Scotch Whisky, with shipments growing to £70m from £48m. Shipments to Brazil rose by 56% to £44.8m. The volume of shipments grew in line with increased value. The equivalent of around 569 million bottles was exported in the first six months, an increase of 19% to the end of June.
On an annualised basis – July 2010 to June 2011 – volume was up almost 5%. This figure reflects the slowdown at the end of 2010 due to economic uncertainty, followed by a growth in confidence among producers bolstered by increased demand from emerging markets.