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Scotch whisky enjoys 'record-breaking year' for exports

Scotch Whisky has enjoyed a record-breaking year for exports in 2017, according to data released by HMRC.

Published: February 9, 2018
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According to the figures, Scotch grew in both volume and value (by 1.6 per cent and 8.9 per cent respectively) in 2017 to a total of £4.36bn - which is the equivalent of 1.23bn bottles exported globally.

"Scotch Whisky accounted for over 20 per cent of all UK food and drink exports"

The results were revealed after the HMRC released its latest export data results which showed that Scotch Whisky accounted for over 20 per cent of all UK food and drink exports.

The total export value of Scotch Whisky in 2017 was £4.359bn,which is £356m more than 2016 and beats the previous record high, £4.273bn, in 2012.

Scotland's national drink also grew in six out of the top ten export markets for value, and five of the top ten for volume, with the US (value) and France (volume) continuing to lead demand for the product.

The report also showed that the rise of the single malt category continued to gather pace with a 14.2 per cent rise in 2017 to £1.17bn.

Commenting on the figures, Karen Betts, CEO of the Scottish Whisky Association, said: “These encouraging figures show how popular Scotch Whisky is right around the world. Already a strong export, loved for its sophistication, diversity and provenance, it’s great to see Scotch continuing to grow in established and new markets.

"Scotch Whisky is not just a core part of Scotland’s national identity and heritage, it is also a fundamental part of our export economy.

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“With more than 40,000 jobs supported by the Scotch Whisky industry across the UK, 7,000 of which are in rural areas in Scotland, it is crucial that we continue to support both the new wave of whisky entrepreneurs and established distillers who are taking Scotch to the world.

“It’s very important to the industry that our global markets remain robust and resilient as the UK navigates Brexit and establishes new trading relationships around the world. We have undoubtedly benefited from recent falls in the value of the pound, as have other exporters. But this short-term boost will not distract the industry from working hard to secure the conditions for long-term growth.

“With over 30 per cent of our trade with EU, it is vital that the UK Government secures transition that allows frictionless trade to continue to with European markets and with those countries with which the EU has free trade agreements.

“Longer term, we are urging the UK government to secure as smooth trade conditions as possible with Europe alongside pursuing ambitious free trade deals with key markets around the world, tackling barriers to trade, and bolstering the legal protection of Scotch Whisky.”

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