Overseas sales boost for Scotland
Whisky returns to export growth as gin also booms
Whisky exports have marked a return to growth with almost £4 billon of overseas sales. Single malts hit £1bn for the first time.
The figures, confirming a forecast in Daily Business last month, follow dips in the previous two years caused mainly by slippage in emerging markets. In China there was an official crackdown on hospitality.
The total value of single malt whisky exports reached £1.02bn, against £914m in 2015, now representing nearly 10% of the volume of Scotch exported, and more than 25% of its value.
Scotch whisky is the biggest contributor to the UK’s balance of trade in goods and the industry has urged the Chanellor to recognise its value to the economy when he delivers his Budget next month.
The new boom in whisky is marked by a rush of new distillery launches. Fourteen have opened in the last three years and seven more are due this year with as many as 40 in the pipeline.
More positive news for the Scottish drinks industry emerged in exports of gin which are up 13% last year, rising to £474m.
About 70% of gin consumed in the UK is made in Scotland and some believe that on current trends gin sales will out-sell whisky by 2020.