Thursday, 10 May 2018 22:06

BREXIT RISKS GROWING SUCCESS OF SCOTCH WHISKY EXPORTS

Scotch Whisky exports were valued at around £931 million in the first quarter of 2018, over a 6% rise on the same period last year, according to new HMRC figures.

These figures show that Europe continues to be the top export market for Scotch whisky - prompting the SNP’s Gail Ross to warn that the Tory Government must not risk this growth by leaving the single market and customs union.

EU membership gives Scotland’s food and drinks industries access to the world’s biggest single market as well as the EU’s free trade agreements with 50 other countries across the globe. Just last month, the EU secured a bilateral trade agreement with Mexico that will allow many EU exports duty-free access to a market of over 127 million people in Mexico.

Commenting, SNP MSP Gail Ross said:

"The sharp increase in Scotch whisky exports is fantastic news for Scotland and indeed the whole UK economy.

“The SNP Scottish Government is ambitious to grow the authentic and globally recognised Scotch whisky brand even further, underpinned by the Scotland Food and Drink Export Plan.

“But while the growing success of our food and drinks exports are something to celebrate – they further demonstrate the massive benefits we stand to lose if we are taken out of the European Union.

“Scotch whisky’s top export market is the EU - and the Westminster Government has a duty to safeguard and protect this success and the thousands of jobs it supports by remaining in the single market and customs union, which is around eight times bigger than the UK market alone.”

ENDS

Notes

HMRC Q1 2018 Scotch Whisky Exports

  • In the first quarter (Jan-March) of 2018, Scotch whisky exports from the UK were valued at approx. £931 million, up 6.3% (£55 million) compared to the same period last year. 
  • The EC remains the largest single regional export market (£285 million), however, overall the majority (£646 million) of Scotch exports were to non-EC markets. 

Table 1: Scotch Whisky Exports from the UK, by Region, Q1 2018, Q1 2017,  £m

Q1 2018 Q1 2017 £m Change % Change
European Community 285 274 11 3.8%
Asia and Oceania 249 197 52 26.3%
Eastern Europe 4 3 1 21.4%
Latin America & Caribbean 83 76 7 8.7%
Middle East & N Africa 54 56 -2 -3.3%
North America 215 220 -5 -2.4%
Sub-Saharan Africa 24 31 -7 -22.3%
Western Europe exc EC 17 18 -1 -3.1%
Total Overseas 931 876 55 6.3%

Source: HMRC Overseas Trade Statistics

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