Record year for whisky despite Brexit concerns

© SuppliedCoopers work on whisky casks at the Speyside Cooperage in Craigellachie.
Coopers work on whisky casks at the Speyside Cooperage in Craigellachie.

Exports of Scotland’s national drink have reached a record value of £4.7 billion – despite ongoing Brexit concerns.

Figures from HM Revenue and Customs revealed a strong year for Scotch whisky exports, with global growth by value and volume.

In the past 12 months, the export value grew 7.8%. The number of 70cl bottles exported also reached record levels, growing to the equivalent of £1.28bn, up 3.6%. The United States became the first billion-pound export market for Scotch whisky, growing to £1.04bn last year, with the EU remaining the largest region for exports, accounting for 30% of global value and 36% of global volume.

Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association Karen Betts said: “These figures underscore the strength of the Scotch whisky category, which has continued to grow despite the challenges posed by Brexit.

“However, the industry does not take continued growth for granted. We operate in a competitive global marketplace and so a competitive business environment is vital to Scotch whisky’s success. For Scotch, that means fair and balanced regulation and taxes to give distillers the confidence to invest.

“We also want to see the UK and EU agree to an open and positive relationship, which delivers frictionless trade with the EU, and the UK to secure ambitious trading relationships with key markets around the world.”