Scotch whisky exports hit nearly £2bn in the first half of 2018

Scotch whisky exports increased in the first half of 2018 to £1.97bn, this a 10.8% rise in the value of exports compared to the previous year.

The figures also show the volume of exports increased by 5.6% - image courtesy of Depositphotos.
The figures also show the volume of exports increased by 5.6% – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

The figures – published by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) – also show the volume of exports increased by 5.6% to almost 558 million bottles.

Single malts continued to grow in popularity too, with exports up 14.4% to £550m in the first six months of the year. In total, single malts now make up 28% of the value of all Scotch shipped overseas.

Exports of blended scotch whisky grew also, rising 8.9% to an export valuation of £1.26bn.

Scotch whisky, which has been exported across the world for 150 years, is now being shipped to emerging markets at a faster rate than before. Exports to China in the first six months of 2018 were up 34.8%, to £36.3m, and exports to India increased by 44.4% to over £56m.

The US remains the largest export market by value at over £400m, and France the largest by volume at almost 90 million bottles.

The European Union remains the biggest regional destination for Scotch, accounting for 39% of the volume of scotch whisky exports and 31% of their value.

In light of this success, and similarly to how the FDF (Food and Drink Federation) reacted to the food and drink sector’s overall export success, the SWA has warned that the industry needs further support if Scotch Whisky is to sustain growth in the long term. 

Britain’s export success

This success comes after overall food and drink exports hit a high of £10.7bn in the first half of the year, this figure up 5% for the same period last year.

Fourth-generation smoked salmon producer, Lance Forman is pictured.
Fourth-generation smoked salmon producer, Lance Forman is pictured.

Whisky remains Britain’s most valuable food and drink export, this followed by chocolate, cheese, salmon and then wine. Read further about Britain’s top food and drink exports here. 

TM visited Stratford-based Forman & Sons fishery earlier in the year, and spoke to CEO Lance Forman, to discover how to best produce smoked salmon. If you want to know how, read more here.

According to the British government, UK food and drink businesses now export their products to over 200 global markets.

Read about the FDF’s call for further export support earlier this year.

In fact, the latest figures show overall British exports are higher than ever, reaching £630bn in the year to July 2018.

See for yourself how innovative the UK manufacturing sector is at the moment by attending Europe’s largest digital manufacturing event, which showcases the most advanced 4IR technology – Smart Factory Expo.

Last year, the two-day event attracted more than 4,000 industrial decision-makers. This year, we’re on track to host 6,000!

Secure your free ticket today

14 – 15 November | Exhibition Center Liverpool