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Scotch Whisky Exports Decline in 2023

In what industry executives describe as a “challenging year” for the spirits industry, 2023 proved to be a down year for Scotch Whisky exports. New data released by the Scotch Whisky Association show a 9.5% decline in the value of exports during 2023 compared to 2022, which has been called an outlier year because of the boom in exports and spirits sales globally following the end of the pandemic. Volume declined by 19% year over year as consumer demand for spirits slipped given current economic headwinds.

Exports to the U.S., traditionally Scotch Whisky’s largest export market by value, were down by 7%, mirroring a report last week from the Distilled Spirits Council showing a similar decline in Scotch sales. The numbers are even worse when compared to 2019, which the SWA has used to compare pre and post-pandemic data, showing an 8.5% drop in value compared to that year. The U.S. was the only one of the top 10 export markets to show a decline in value year over year, which SWA leaders blame on global economic conditions and rising living costs for consumers.

Globally, Scotch Whisky exports were valued at £5.6 billion GBP in 2023, up 14% in value when compared to 2019. The volume of exports was down 19% from 2022, but showed a 3% gain over the 2019 numbers. The Asia-Pacific region was Scotch Whisky’s largest regional market by value, largely based on increased exports to China, Singapore, and Taiwan.

India, which the SWA and whisky makers have long targeted as a market ripe for expansion, showed significant declines in both value (down 22%) and volume (down 24%) from 2022 results. However, India showed strong increases in both volume and value from 2019, with a 31% gain in value and a 27% gain in volume.

More details on the report are available here.