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The SWA has released the 2021 global export figures for Scotch Whisky

Global exports of Scotch Whisky grew to £4.51bn during 2021, according to figures released recently by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), as the industry continues to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and US tariffs.

In 2021, the value of Scotch Whisky exports was up 19% by value, to £4.51bn. The number of 70cl bottles exported also grew by 21% to the equivalent of 1.38bn.

Growth in 2021 was driven in particular by consumers in Asia Pacific and Latin America, with value increases of 21% and 71% respectively. Key emerging markets for Scotch Whisky – like India, Brazil, and China – grew strongly. Exports grew by 8% in the United States – the industry largest market by value – despite the first quarter of 2021 impacted by the 25% tariff on Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Exports to the European Union grew by 8% in the first year since the UK left the transition period.

Despite the return to growth in 2021, the value of Scotch Whisky exports has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels, with exports remaining 8% lower than 2019.

Commenting on the figures, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association Mark Kent said, “The global footprint of the industry in 2021 is a clear sign that the Scotch Whisky industry is on the road to recovery.

“Value and volume are both up as consumers return to bars and restaurants, people return to travel and tourism, and we all return to a degree of normality after a period of enormous uncertainty for consumers and business.

“Scotch Whisky growth in global markets means more jobs and investment across Scotland and the UK supply chain. The industry has continued to invest in its production sites, tourist attractions and workforce to ensure that Scotch Whisky remains at the heart of a dynamic international spirits market and attracts new consumers around the world.

“But this this is no time for complacency. The industry continues to face global challenges, including ongoing trade disruption, growing supply chain costs and inflationary pressures, and undoubtedly there is some road to run before exports return to pre-pandemic levels.

“The UK and Scottish governments should do all they can to support the industry’s continued recovery by making the most of global opportunities, including the ongoing UK-India trade talks, ensuring fairness in the UK duty system, and investing in a more sustainable future as the industry works to reach net-zero by 2040.”

Summary

Export value of Scotch Whisky in 2021 was £4.51bn, up £705m compared with 2020, but down £403m compared to 2019.

Export volume of Scotch Whisky in 2021 was 1.38bn 70cl bottles (equivalent), up 238m 70cl bottles compared with 2020 and up 73m compared to 2019.

On average, 44 bottles of Scotch Whisky are exported every second (up from 36 bottles per second in 2020).

Top 10 Markets

The largest export destinations for Scotch Whisky (defined by value) in 2021 were:

USA:£ 790m8.4% (£729m in 2020)
France:£ 387m2.8% (£376m in 2020)
Taiwan:£226m24.3% (£182m in 2020)
Singapore:£212m-14.3% (£247m in 2020)
China:£198m84.9% (£107m in 2020)
Latvia:£156m-11.8% (£176m in 2020)
Germany:£148m6.4% (£139m in 2020)
India:£146m42.9% (£102m in 2020)
Japan:£133m16.2% (£114m in 2020)
Spain:£118m7.9% (£109m in 2020)

The largest export destinations for Scotch Whisky (defined by volume, 70cl bottles equivalent) in 2021 were:

France:176m bottles-0.1% (176m bottles in 2020)
India:136m bottles44.3% (95m bottles in 2020)
United States:126m bottles12.6% (112 m bottles in 2020)
Brazil:82m bottles80.5% (45 m bottles in 2020)
Japan:56m bottles25.9% (45 m bottles in 2020)
Spain:48m bottles32.0% (36 m bottles in 2020)
Mexico:48m bottles13.0% (42 m bottles in 2020)
Germany:46m bottles7.2% (43 m bottles in 2020)
Poland:45m bottles19.4% (37 m bottles in 2020)
Russia:42m bottles40.7% (30 m bottles in 2020)

Regional data

In 2021, Scotch Whisky exports by global region (defined by value) were (% change vs 2020):

European Union:£1360m8.2% (30% of global exports)
Asia Pacific:£1210m21.4% (27% of global exports)
North America:£1000m11.2% (22% of global exports)
Central and South America:£443m70.7% (10% of global exports)
Middle East and N Africa:£187m55.0% (4% of global exports)
Africa:£157m14.6% (3% of global exports)
Western Europe (ex.EU):£98m6.0% (2% of global exports)
Eastern Europe (ex.EU):£47m33.8% (1% of global exports)

SWA announces Mark Kent as new Chief Executive

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has announced that Mark Kent, former British Ambassador to Argentina, will succeed Karen Betts as Chief Executive, when Karen leaves the SWA later this year.

Mark joins the SWA following more than three decades with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Most recently, he served as Ambassador to Argentina from 2016 to June 2021. He also served as the Ambassador to Thailand, Ambassador to Vietnam, as well as roles at British Embassies in Mexico City, Brasilia and the UK Representation to the European Union.

Commenting on his appointment as the ninth Chief Executive in the SWA’s 110-year history, Mark Kent said, “I am delighted to have been appointed as CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association. As a former Ambassador, I know in what high regard the Scotch Whisky industry and the SWA is held worldwide.

“After a challenging period, I’m looking forward to helping the industry to unleash its full potential and enable people across the globe to discover and enjoy our premium and iconic product. The Scotch Whisky industry has a fantastic history, great stories to tell and continues to innovate. I can’t wait to get started.”

Welcoming Mark Kent to the role, Scott McCroskie, Chair of the SWA Council, added, “I am delighted that Mark will be joining the Scotch Whisky Association, to lead the organisation’s and the industry’s next exciting chapter. Mark brings with him an outstanding depth of experience which will allow the SWA to continue to support the industry’s interests around the world.

“We look forward to working with him as the industry looks to make new ground in key growth markets and build a sustainable future for the industry by continuing our push towards net-zero.”

Mark Kent, who will take up the position in January 2022, will take over from Karen Betts, who leaves the SWA in December 2021 to take over as Chief Executive at the Food and Drink Federation.