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Scotch Exports Flat Amid China’s Dropoff, But Single Malt Propels U.S. To Record High

April 11, 2014

Scotch exports were flat by value in 2013 due largely to a sharp dropoff in China, but the category reached a record-high in the U.S. as its single malt segment continued to expand markedly. Scotch’s global export value came in at £4.26 billion ($7.1b) in 2013, compared to £4.27 billion ($7.1b) in 2012, according to the Scotch Whisky Association, even as export volume grew by 2.5% to the equivalent of roughly 1.23 billion bottles.

Hampered by the government crackdown on luxury goods, China’s Scotch market suffered a value decline of nearly 30%, while exports to other key Asia-Pacific markets—including Taiwan, South Korea and Japan—were also down by double-digits.

However, outside Asia-Pacific, Scotch exports performed significantly better, due largely to single malt’s 5% export bump to a record £820 million ($1.37b).

Single malt drove value growth in the U.S. in 2013. The U.S.—Scotch’s largest market by value—achieved 8% sales growth last year, to an all-time high of £819 million ($1.37b). Led by Pernod Ricard’s The Glenlivet, single malt continues to rise quickly in the U.S. In 2012, category volume advanced by 7%, according to Impact Databank, and it appears as if similar progress occurred in 2013.

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