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Scotch Exports Down Again, But Performance Improving

May 17, 2016

Scotch whisky exports to the U.S. continued to decline in 2015, but the dropoff was less steep than in the previous year. Scotch shipments to the U.S. were down by 1.8% to 9.05 million cases last year, according to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), as the blended segment continues to struggle. But the numbers showed an improvement from 2014, when Scotch shipments fell by 6.8%—an indication that the category’s decline might be bottoming out. With the single malt segment gaining share, Scotch exports to the U.S. by value were flat at €749 million ($1.08b).

Globally, Scotch exports were down 2.8% by volume in 2015 and 2.4% by value, as the premiumization trend occurring in the U.S. is gradually extending to other key markets. Single malt now accounts for nearly 25% of Scotch’s global export value, compared to 18% five years ago. With around 40% of Scotch exports going to the European Union, the SWA says the U.K.’s membership in the E.U. is crucial to the category’s future, and is pushing for the U.K. to retain its membership status. Next month, U.K. voters will choose via referendum whether to remain part of the E.U.

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