Scotch Whisky Association says it is confident about the future despite exports levelling off in the first-half
Scotch whisky exports increased in value by 12 per cent in the year to June 2012 to £4.2 billion according to figures from trade body the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).
The latest export figures compare with value export sales of £3.8 billion reported by the industry last year.
In the first half of 2012, exports to the USA jumped by 13 per cent to £303 million and it remains the biggest market by value for Scotch whisky.
However, there were significant drops in export values to France, Spain, South Africa, Brazil and Japan - down 14 per cent, 24 per cent, 16.4 per cent, 22 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.
In India, export values increased 28 per cent in the first half to £28 million and the SWA said it remains hopeful a conclusion can be reached on the European Union/India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by the end of the year.
The FTA would see a gradual reduction of the 150 per cent tariff on imported spirits, and the SWA said a reduction in tariffs would allow India to fulfil its potential to be one of the biggest markets for whisky.
Export sales to Taiwan, Venezuela, Latvia, Estonia and Aruba rose by 14 per cent, 31 per cent, 77 per cent. 35 per cent and 31 per cent respectively in the first half of 2012.
Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “Over the past year the value of Scotch whisky exports has continued to increase and we’re delighted to build on our outstanding success in 2011 with 12 per cent growth in the last 12 months.
“While there has been a levelling off in the first half of this year, the industry remains confident about the future.
“Recent announcements of investments in new distilleries and the expansion of existing facilities demonstrate the level of confidence producers have in future growth opportunities.”