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Scotch Whisky Exports Jump 11% In First Half, With Single Malts Driving Gains

October 22, 2018

Scotch whisky exports posted impressive growth in the first half of 2018, with the upscale single malt segment showing especially strong progress. According to the Scotch Whisky Association, total exports jumped 11% to £1.97 billion ($2.57b) in the six months through June on a 5.6% volume increase to 558 million bottles. Single malt exports were up 14% to £550 million ($717m) in the first half, accounting for 28% of shipments.

The U.S. remains the top export market for Scotch whisky in value terms, with shipments above £400 million ($523m) in the first half of the year. France is the category’s top export market by volume, at 90 million bottles in the January-June period. Total U.S. Scotch volume fell 3.1% to 7.6 million cases last year, according to Impact Databank, while single malts rose 4.5% to 1.67 million cases.

Scotch Whisky Association CEO Karen Betts hailed the strong first-half numbers, but warned of potential stumbling blocks on the horizon for the category. Most notably, the SWA highlighted “the real downsides of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, which could have an impact on growth.”—Daniel Marsteller

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