Scotch Whisky exports at all time high
Published by Anne Marie Hughes on Sat 09 Jun 12 @ 22:11
Scotch Whisky exports hit a record high in the first three quarters of 2011, up 23% from the same period last year.
Sales of the amber nectar have totaled almost £3billion so far this year, earning £125 per second for the UK balance of payments.
Emerging markets are central to the industry's success with Brazil now consuming 10 million litres of whisky, while China is lapping up £47.5 million and the sleeping bear Russia, is also awakening to the water of life, with a 61% rise in imports across 2010.
This is all great news for Glasgow, with 85% of all whisky produced in the country being bottled a mere ten miles from the city centre in plants such as Edrington, Diageo, John Dewar and William Grant.
Ian Curle, chief executive of The Edrington Group and recently appointed chairman of the Scottish Whisky Association said "I am delighted to be taking over as chairman of the SWA at a time when the Scotch Whisky industry is in confident mood. Scotch Whisky is an iconic product and it will continue to be a prime asset and export for Scotland and the UK. I'll work to protect the integrity of Scotch Whisky across the globe and to advance its export success.
"With the support of governments at home and abroad to achieve fairer taxation and reduction of trade barriers, the industry can reach even higher levels. The European Union is vital to this work."
He added that some future priorities for the SWA include completion of the negotiations between the European Union and India on a Free Trade Agreement which would reduce the onerous 150% import tariff. In the UK, a change in the current duty regime which sees Scotch Whisky being taxed more heavily than other drinks is long overdue. He said discrimination in the home market undermines the industry's efforts overseas
The industry will also continue to focus on achieving the ambitious targets set out in its environmental strategy published in 2009 which is committed to long-term sustainability.
One industry goal is for 80% of energy requirements to come from non-fossil fuel sources by 2050, with an interim target of 20% by 2020.
Next year marks the centenary of the Scotch Whisky Association, a milestone sure to be marked by the 10,200 people currently employed in the sector.