Long-term outlook remains strong despite scotch whisky exports being down in 2014
Weaker economic conditions and political volatility in some markets saw the value of Scotch Whisky exports decline 7% to £3.95 billion in 2014 from £4.26bn the previous year, according to new figures published today (1 April).
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) called on the European Union and the future UK government, no matter the political complexion, to continue to press the case for more open markets, and to pursue ambitious Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to promote exports. The SWA pointed to existing FTAs, such as the EU agreement with South Korea, which have boosted growth and to the huge potential of agreements with countries including India, the USA and Vietnam.
Scotch Whisky has enjoyed strong global growth over the last decade, with total value of exports up 74% since 2004 and Single Malt up 159%. But the SWA reported challenges in several markets last year, with the volume of exports also down slightly by 3% to 1.19bn 70cl bottles.
The overall picture, following several years of record-breaking growth, was consolidation in many developed markets and underlying strong growth in most emerging markets. Political volatility affected this picture in places and some fluctuations were driven by changes in stock levels rather than by underlying consumer demand.
Growth was seen in a range of important markets, such as Taiwan where exports jumped 36% to £197 million, partly on the back of the growing popularity of Single Malt Scotch. Exports to India were up 29% to £89m, despite the 150% import tariff.
Exports to the USA, the biggest market for Scotch, fell 9% by value to £748m. However, customs export figures did not tell the whole story, as consumption figures released earlier this year by the US Distilled Spirits Council show the market shrank by only just over 1%. Single Malt sales volumes were up 6.3%. This suggests the fall in exports in 2014 was due partly to stock adjustments – as high inventory levels of Scotch are drawn down to meet consumer demand, rather than buying new stock – as well as to an increasingly competitive spirits market.
Global exports also performed better in the second half of last year – down 4% – than in the first six months when they fell 11% in value compared to the same period in 2013, suggesting longer-term fundamentals are sound.
The picture was encouraging in Europe last year:
•Exports to France, the biggest market by volume and second biggest by value, were up 2% to £445 million and 3% to 183m bottles. The French market is stabilising after Scotch, and other imported drinks, were hit by a tax increase in 2012.
•Exports to Spain were up 1% by volume for the first time in several years.
There was a mixed picture in emerging markets, partly as a result of political and economic volatility. Exports by volume to Mexico grew 5% to 42.8m bottles, while value fell by 10% in that market. There was a similar trend in Brazil, with volumes flat but value down 20%. The important hub market of the United Arab Emirates continues to boom, with exports up 27% by value.
Alongside Taiwan and India, there were other positive developments in Asia:
•Exports to Thailand were up 16% to 27m bottles.
•Japan was up 8% in value to £64m, the first increase since 2011.
•South Korea was up in value to £117m, the first increase since 2010. South Korea was given a boost by a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU in 2011 which phased out the import tariff.
•However, exports to the major regional hub of Singapore fell by 39% in value to £200m. This was partly down to the ongoing austerity campaign in China, the final destination for a lot of Scotch shipped from the UK to Singapore. Direct exports to China, the 26th largest market by value, fell 23% to £39m
The Association stressed the importance of pursuing ambitious FTAs to open markets and support export growth. There are a number of on-going negotiations which should benefit Scotch Whisky, including the EU-Vietnam FTA expected to be signed this year, an agreement with Colombia and Peru due to come into force and an agreement with Canada. The SWA urged the early re-opening of negotiations between the EU and India and progress on other important negotiations, such as the EU-US Trade & Investment Partnership.
David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: “Economic and political factors in some important markets held back Scotch Whisky exports in 2014 after a decade of strong growth. It shows that the industry’s success cannot be taken for granted and that we must continue to argue for more open markets and ambitious trade deals that tackle barriers to market access.
“The long-term fundamentals remain strong, with consumers in emerging markets wanting to buy Scotch Whisky as a high-quality and authentic product with a strong reputation and clear provenance. This drives the strong investment in Scotch Whisky production in Scotland and the significant interest in entering the sector.”
Article Source: http://www.scotch-whisky.org.uk/
The source of the figures is Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
A table of top 20 overseas markets for Scotch Whisky along with infographics relating to regional markets, both by value and volume, can be found below.
In 2014, Scotch Whisky exports were worth £3,945,166,375 in value, down from £4,260,644,945 in 2013. Volume was 1.19 billion bottles, down from 1.23 billion bottles.
Rosemary Gallagher, SWA communications manager, 0131 222 9230/07432 605385 or email email@example.com
David Williamson, SWA government and communications director, 0131 222 9226/07730 496151 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior representatives of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) visited Mexico last week (4-7 June) to promote the industry and to sign an agreement with the regulatory body for Tequila.
Mexico is a rapidly growing market for Scotch Whisky, with exports increasing 20% last year to reach £110 million. It is now the ninth biggest overseas market for Scotch.
Demand from aspirational consumers has helped make Scotch one of the fastest growing UK exports to Mexico, representing 8% of all UK exports to the market.
On Friday 6 June, David Frost, SWA chief executive, delivered a talk in the Mexican city of Guadalajara. He gave an overview of the SWA’s work to protect and promote the Scotch Whisky industry around the world, including its commitment to sustainability.
The Scotch Whisky industry launched its ambitious Environmental Strategy in 2009 and it is well on course to meet its targets. For example, use of non-fossil fuel for energy has increased to 16% from 3% since 2008 and greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by 10%. The target for 2050 is for 80% of energy to come from non-fossil fuel.
David Frost also discussed the benefits of Scotch Whisky’s status as a Geographical Indication. This means, by law, Scotch can only be made in Scotland from cereals, water and yeast according to strict legal requirements.
While in Guadalajara the SWA signed a Cooperation Agreement with the Consejo Regulador del Tequila – the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT). The agreement is designed to protect two globally recognised, iconic spirits and consumers. It will encourage greater co-operation in a range of areas, such as fair competition and promotion of responsible drinking.
David Frost and Alan Park, SWA legal affairs adviser, also met government officials in Mexico City to discuss issues relevant to the Scotch Whisky industry.
David Frost, SWA chief executive, said: “The Cooperation Agreement with the Tequila Regulatory Council will help Scotch Whisky and Tequila work together to improve market access for both spirits and protect their reputation for quality.
“Mexico is an increasingly important market for Scotch Whisky – exports reached £110 million last year and it is now a top ten market. It is good to share the success of the industry with a range of audiences in Mexico and discuss the importance of protecting Scotch Whisky worldwide.
Duncan Taylor, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Mexico, said: “Mexico is the UK’s second largest trading partner in Latin America and is a key strategic market for the UK. Scotch whisky is one of the UK’s fastest growing exports to Mexico, and I am delighted to see this cooperation between the Scotch whisky and tequila industries, which I am confident will lead to further growth in trade between our two countries”.With media enquiries please contact David Williamson at the Scotch Whisky Association on 0131 222 9226/07730 496 151 or email email@example.com.
The SWA is the trade body for the Scotch Whisky industry.
The CRT is the regulatory body for the Tequila industry in Mexico. It protects and promotes Tequila.
10 Jun 2014
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