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Scotch Whisky Exports Showing the Way out of Recession

Press release issued 8th December 2009

New figures released today (8th December 2009) show that more than 807 million bottles of Scotch Whisky were shipped abroad during the first nine months of 2009.

Global shipments grew by 1.5 per cent compared to 2008, despite recession, according to the export figures (January-September 2009) published by The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). Values were 3.5 per cent down on the previous industry record in 2008, reaching 2.11 billion - the industry's second best export value performance at the end of September.

The SWA reported that despite weak economic conditions and trade de-stocking, which impacted exports in the first quarter of the year, the industry remained confident of future growth as international conditions improve.

Gavin Hewitt, SWA Chief Executive, said:
"After a tough first quarter, Scotch Whisky exports have performed well so far in 2009. We look forward to a good last quarter with the important Christmas and New Year period now in full swing.

"Distillers have been resilient through the recession, investing for future opportunities and underscoring Scotch Whisky's increasing importance to the domestic economy. Scotch Whisky exports - which already represent 20 per cent of Scotland's manufactured exports - are showing the way in bringing the Scottish economy out of recession."

The SWA reported that the international spread of Scotch Whisky export markets helped to mitigate the impact of weaker economic conditions in certain countries.
Within the top ten markets, the value of exports to France, South Africa, and Venezuela increased. Shipment value to the United States, Spain and South Korea was lower.

The UK market continued to struggle with releases from bond down 11 per cent, raising further questions over the need for, and impact of, minimum pricing in Scotland. The SWA pointed to the negative impact of trade barriers being introduced against Scotch Whisky overseas on the back of a Scottish precedent if minimum pricing was introduced in Scotland.

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