May 8, 2009

Scotch whiskey exports climbed in 2008

The association of Scottish whiskey makers said exports of Scotch whiskey reached $4.6 billion in 2008, a record high.

The year saw an 8 percent jump in whiskey exports, with $145 worth of single malts and blends leaving the bonny banks and braes every second, The Scotsman reported Friday.

During the year, 1.08 billion bottles were shipped overseas, the newspaper said.

North America cut back 6 percent on its whiskey purchases, while Central and South America cut back 2 percent. Shipments to Australia, however, rose 30 percent and shipments to other European countries rose 17 percent in the year.

Shipments to Africa increased by 10 percent.

Association Chairman Paul Walsh said, Scotch whiskey exports have proved to be resilient in the face of difficult economic conditions in a range of markets.

To achieve record export value at such a time is quite an achievement and underscores just how important the industry is to the UK economy, he said, adding, Whiskey will play a leading role in exporting the economy out of recession.