Scotch growth aided by France and Spain

04 September, 2013

Recoveries in the much-maligned markets of France and Spain helped to off-set declines in Asia as global sales of Scotch grew 11% by value and 9% by volume for the first half of 2013.

France - which suffered a lull this time last year due to buyers de-stocking - and Spain - the Scotch category’s hard luck story of the European recession - rose in volume and value by 6%/25% and 11%/11% respectively during the period.

All of the top five scotch markets by value increased. 

The US remains the most valuable market to the category, with revenues up 29% to £391m, with France in second at £198.8m, Singapore – a conduit for China – in third with £173.8m (+19%), Germany fourth with £83.4m (+ 28%) and Spain fifth with £81.8m.

A similar story is told by the volume ranking of Scotch sales, with the top six markets all showing double-digit growth.

France is the most likely destination for scotch whisky with 82.7m bottles ending up there, the US was second in the chart with 61.8m bottles (+10%), Singapore third with 33.9m bottles (+23%), Brazil fourth with a 49% increase in demand to 28.3m bottles, Spain in fifth on 25.7m and Germany up 18% to 25.2m bottles.

South Africa (up in value 19% to £65m / up in volume 24% to 23.5m bottles), Mexico (up in value 67% to £53m / up in volume 47% to 18.1 bottles) and Panama (up in value 86% to £31.2m  / up in volume 54% to 7.1m bottles) have emerged as burgeoning markets for Scotch.

Down-trading markets were almost exclusively Asian. Taiwan tumbled 28% by value and 13% by volume, South Korea dropped 9% and 5%, Japan fell 13% by value while China – discounting shipments through Singapore – saw sales shrink by 20% and 21%.

Gavin Hewitt, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: “Demand for Scotch Whisky from mature and emerging markets around the world grew strongly in the first half of this year after a slow start in 2012. While these figures provide a snapshot of what is happening with exports, the industry is confident this expansion will continue.

"Significant new investment in the industry in Scotland by Scotch Whisky producers reflects the belief that growth will be sustainable.

“Scotch Whisky is widely recognised as a quality product and leads the way into new markets for other food and drink exports from the UK. It continues 

Keywords: SWA, scotch sales

Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.


La'Mel Clarke

Service isn’t servitude: the skill of hosting

La’Mel Clarke, front of house at London’s Seed Library, looks at the forgotten art of hosting and why it deserves the same respect as bartending.