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U.S. Whiskey Exports Set Record in 2023

While most drinks industry reports have been full of bad news in recent weeks, a new report released by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States shows U.S. spirits exports have recovered from three years of European Union tariffs. Exports totaled $2.2 billion in 2023, up 8% over 2022, while American whiskey exports increased by 9% to a record $1.4 billion. Whiskies account for 63% of all U.S. spirits exports by value and 34% by volume.

In a news release, DISCUS Vice President of International Trade Rob Maron said “The tariffs imposed from 2018-2021 as part of two separate disputes between the U.S., EU and UK have since been suspended or removed, presenting U.S. spirits producers with an opportunity to recapture lost market share in some of the U.S.’s largest export markets. Over the span of two years, American Whiskey exports to the EU surged by more than 60%, climbing from $439 million in 2021 to $705 million in 2023.”

The 27-member bloc represents the largest export market for American whiskey, followed by Australia ($121 million), Japan ($106 million), the United Kingdom ($86 million), and Canada ($76 million). Tariffs remain suspended until March 31, 2025 while Washington and Brussels negotiate a trade deal on steel and aluminum exports, along with a separate dispute over aircraft subsidies.

The emphasis on whiskey exports can also be found on a state-by-state basis. Tennessee was the number one state for spirits exports ($983 million), largely on the basis of global demand for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. Bourbon exports pushed Kentucky to the number two position at $505 million, while exports of rum and other spirits put Florida in third place at $338 million.

The full report is available here.