Published: 08/04/2013 11:27 - Updated: 08/04/2013 11:28

Industry welcomes whisky export boom

SCOTTISH whisky exports hit a record £4.3 billion in 2012, an increase of 87% in the last 10 years.

The industry says that rising demand for Speyside whisky, as well as Scotch from elsewhere in the country, saw the value of exports grow for the eighth consecutive year in 2012.

It means that despite global economic pressures, the total value of whisky exports increased by 1% last year to reach £4.27 billion.

Single malt exports have risen over the past 10 years by 190%, from £268 million to £778 million.

Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: "Scotch whisky continues to lead the way for UK food and drink exports.

"A combination of successful trade negotiations, excellent marketing by producers, growing demand from mature markets, particularly the USA, and the growing middle class in emerging economies, helped exports hit a record £4.3 billion last year.

"We deliver a remarkable £135 a second to the UK balance of trade. We are contributing massively to the government’s wish for an export-led recovery.

"There is confidence in the future of the industry, illustrated by the £2 billion capital investment that Scotch whisky producers have committed over the next three to four years. New distilleries have opened and older ones brought back to use to meet rising demand."

The USA remains the top market by value for Scotch whisky, with exports breaking through the £700 million barrier for the first time in 2012, to reach £758 million.

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