By Andy Young

The amount of Scotch whisky being imported into Australia fell in 2014, according to UK Customs figures released by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

The figures show that 27m bottles of Scotch whisky were imported into Australia from January to December 2014. That is down from 30.2m bottles for the same period in 2013, a fall of 10 per cent.

The drop in the exports of Scotch whisky to Australia mirrors a global trend for the spirit. Overall the export value of Scotch whisky in 2014 totalled GBP3.95 billion, which is a drop of seven per cent on the previous year. Export volumes also fell from 1.23 billion bottles to 1.19bn.

The biggest value Scotch market remains the US, although that fell by nine per cent from GBP818.7 million to GBP750m. There were also significant drops in the value of other key markets including Singapore, Spain and Germany.

France remains the biggest market for Scotch, by volume, and second by value, with the latter increasing by three per cent last year.

India proved to be one of the big emerging markets for Scotch last year, increasing volume by 30 per cent and value by 29 per cent.

SWA chief executive David Frost put the drop in exports down to difficult economic and political pressures and called on governments, particularly in the European Union, to open up more free markets.

Frost said: "Economic and political factors in some important markets held back Scotch whisky exports in 2014 after a decade of strong growth. It shows that the industry's success cannot be taken for granted and that we must continue to argue for more open markets and ambitious trade deals that tackle barriers to market access.  

"The long-term fundamentals remain strong, with consumers in emerging markets wanting to buy Scotch whisky as a high-quality and authentic product with a strong reputation and clear provenance. This drives the strong investment in Scotch whisky production in Scotland and the significant interest in entering the sector."

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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