The value of Scotch whisky exports has rocketed by 87% over the past 10 years to reach £4.3bn, according to the Scottish government.
The volume of whisky exports has also risen by nearly a third (32%) during the same period, revealed new analysis from the government, based on the latest figures from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.
As revellers across the globe prepare to enjoy a wee dram (or more), as part of their New Year celebrations, the most lucrative top five markets for whisky exports were revealed to be: the US, France, Singapore, Spain and Germany.
Top export destinations
Ranked by the volume of sales, the top export destinations were France, the US, Spain, Singapore and Germany.
Scotland’s food and drink minister Richard Lochhead said: “Scotch Whisky is one of our most iconic products and these figures demonstrate the huge global demand for whisky. I’ve made growing the food and drink industry one of my main priorities since coming to office and I’m particularly pleased that these results show a 51% rise in the value of exports since 2007.”
Lochhead confirmed that Scotch whisky is exported to 173 countries, to destinations as varied as: Brazil, China, Bermuda, Papua New Guinea and the Vatican City. “This just exemplifies how important Scotch whisky is not only to the Scottish economy, but to our deserved reputation as a land of food and drink,” he added.
The Scottish diaspora was cited as another reason for the growing popularity of, what some regard as, the water of life. “It’s estimated that up to 50M people worldwide can claim Scottish ancestry, and many more have a connection with Scotland through visiting, working or studying in Scotland,” said Lochhead.
“I have no doubt that some of them will be raising a glass of Scotland’s finest as they bid a fond farewell to 2013 and look forward to the opportunities that 2014 can bring. Especially, as Scotland welcomes the world through Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup.”
Meanwhile, Scotch is now significantly more popular with French drinkers than cognac, environment secretary Owen Paterson told the Food and Drink Federation’s president’s reception in early December.
“I can’t resist telling you the great whisky fact, which you must all repeat whenever you see a Frenchman,” said Paterson. “The French drink more Scotch whisky in a month than they drink French cognac in a whole year.”