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Sunday, 28 October, 2001, 09:39 GMT
Asian market cheers whisky producers
Whisky being poured
Whisky is a major Scottish export
Scotland's whisky industry has seen a buoyant start to the year thanks to a resurgence in demand in Asian markets, new figures show.

Exports to the Far East were up almost a third in the first half of the year, said the Scotch Whisky Association.

The association revealed the value of Far East markets had risen by more than 20% and that volume had gone up 32.8%.

In South Korea shipments grew by almost 40% in volume - the equivalent of 6.4 million bottles - and more than 30% by value to 80.5m.

Other figures in the association's report include:

  • Japanese market volume grew by more than 14.5m bottles, but low value bulk shipments meant the increase in value was only 13m

  • exports to the European Union were up 7.9% on last year - 14.3m bottles - delivering a 4.9% increase in value to 16m

  • in the UK, volumes rose by 4.3% to 46m bottles

  • overall worldwide exports enjoyed double-digit growth, climbing 11.2% in volume and 10.3% in value.

The association said export trade was lower than normal early last year as retailers ran down their millennium stocks.

Taking this into account, they said a more representative figure would be that from June 2000 to June 2001, which puts volume up 8% and value up 6%.

Whisky casks
Japanese market volume grew
Scotch Whisky Association chairman Ian Good said it was an encouraging start to the year.

He said: "There was much talk of global recession, even in the first half of the year, yet Scotch whisky has seen growth in many of its key markets.

"The renaissance in Asia is especially encouraging.

"The Asian economic crisis of 1998 left a legacy of low consumer confidence, so this upturn in demand may signal a return to form for one of the industry's most important markets.

"Like many others the industry is watching carefully for any change in consumer expenditures."

Mr Good was optimistic the figures would continue to improve.

He said: "The festive season is now fast approaching, which is by far the industry's busiest time of the year.

"We hope that consumer confidence will hold steady in the final quarter, and allow us to build on these positive half year results."

See also:

18 Oct 01 | Scotland
Welsh pub scoops whisky title
18 Oct 01 | Wales
Whisky galore!
17 Sep 01 | Scotland
New whisky made with beer
02 May 01 | UK Politics
Whisky report makes short measure
12 Apr 01 | Scotland
Whisky bosses bullish over exports
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