Scotch exports at £4bn; malts over £1bn for first time

Scotch whisky exports were up 4% in value in 2016 to just over £4 billion and up 4.8% by volume to 1.2 billion bottles, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said.

Blended Scotch continues to be the biggest seller abroad — but single malt Scotch exports soared 12% to exceed £1 billion for the first time.

The SWA said total Scotch exports in 2016 were £4,008,927,455 and single malt exports were £1,024,414,455.

“Demand for Scotch Whisky from across the globe has made a welcome return to growth after a slight decline in recent years,” said Rosemary Gallagher, SWA head of communications.

“Last year, Scotch exports were up 4% in value to just over £4 billion from slightly under £3.9 billion in 2015, and up 4.8% by volume to 1.2 billion bottles from 1.1 billion bottles in 2015.

“Blended Scotch whisky continues to be the biggest category but it is also good news that Single Malt Scotch Whisky exports have exceeded £1 billion for the first time, up almost 12% from £916 million in 2015.”

Gallagher said the SWA expects demand for Scotch to continue to increase amid “unprecedented investment” in the industry with more than a dozen new Scotch whisky distilleries opening in the last few years and up to 40 more projects at various stages of planning and development.

“But we need support from government as we deal with the challenges and opportunities of Brexit,” added Gallagher.

“Ahead of the UK Budget in March, an open and ambitious trade policy combined with a competitive and fair domestic tax environment are key priorities for the sector.”