Whisky in the bar (abroad) hits new sales records
Sales of Scotch whisky abroad hit record levels last year as over a billion bottles of the ‘water of life’ were exported to thirsty nations right across the world.
The value of global sales soared 4% to £2.5bn, representing 25% of all the UK’s food and drink exports.
Europe saw growth in all of its constituent markets, with demand in the Americas and Asia, Venezuela, China and South Africa also especially strong.
Trade is currently so strong in the whisky business that the world’s largest producer – Diageo – recently announced its intention to invest £100m on upgrading its distilleries across Scotland.
“This is a sign of a business that is making a substantial UK investment into the economy and driving our exports very powerfully,” said City analyst Colin Perry.
“Sales volume rose 6% to 1.051 billion bottles last year, beating the previous high of 1.013 bottles in 2001. The best previous year in terms of value was 1997, when sales totalled £2.4bn,” he added.
However, it was the rising demand in China that most heartened many industry observers, where the drink is in huge demand and the country has risen to a place in the top 10 of international Scotch markets.