The World of Scotch Whisky – A Fascinating Statistical Analysis (Pt 2)

Phil Huckle

In part 2 of our Fascinating Statistics from the World of Scotch Whisky, we are going to focus on first the all-important US Single Malt market, plus show how Scotch whisky exports are recovering from the pandemic.  

In Part 1 we highlighted how in 1980 Single Malt whisky made up only 1% of global volume sales. Now it is over 15%. However, when we look at value, Single Malt today jumps up to 41% of the market. At the current rate, it is predicted to overtake blended in the next 10 years. Whisky executives would have fallen over laughing if you had made that prediction even at the turn of the century! 

In our first graph, we are going to look at the most important export market for Single Malt whisky – the USA. This is charting the growth since 1996. 

 Exports of Single Malt Bottles to the USA in million litres of pure alcohol (mLPA)  

1996               2.20 

2001               2.11 

2006               4.79 

2011               4.87 

2016               6.22 

2021               6.40  

Single Malt sales have nearly trebled in the No.1 global market in 25 years. This is despite the UK not having a trade deal during this time. Other hurdles that had to be overcome were the 2008 banking crisis which caused a major recession, the Covid pandemic, and the 25% tariff imposed by the Trump administration as part of a trade war with the EU.  

Conclusion – It is reasonable to assume that the long-term growth of Single Malt whisky will continue its upward trajectory in the coming decade. 

 The Bounce-Back Markets 

 2020 was a very difficult year for the Scotch Whisky industry with the almost complete loss of Travel Retail and huge declines in On Trade sales. The table below shows the Top 10 markets which have experienced the highest growth in 2021. Globally Scotch whisky exports increased year on year by 27.7%! 

                                                       In Million Litres of Pure Alcohol (MLPA) 

1) Belgium                         2.31 to 6.37 ………..175.5%   - Western Europe 

2) Chile                               2.90 to 7.13…………145.7%    - South America 

3) Dominican Rep.            1.47 to 3.37…………129.7%    - Caribbean 

4) Nigeria                            0.77 to 1.76…………128.6%    - Africa 

5) Panama                          2.15 to 4.46…………107.7%    - Central America 

6) Brazil                               12.67 to 22.88………80.5%     - South America 

7) Romania                         1.32 to 2.32………….76.4%      - Eastern Europe 

8) Iraq                                  0.68 to 1.18………….74.5%      - Middle East 

9) Peru                                 1.50 to 2.61………….74.0%      - South America 

10) UAE                                  3.27 to 5.47………….67.5%      - Middle East 

The Recovery is Complete!  

The table below shows how the global Scotch Whisky industry has already recovered from the sharp drop in sales during the pandemic. Within one year, exports have surpassed 2019 totals. 

Despite the global volatility impacted by the Covid disruptions in China and the war between Ukraine and Russia, we anticipate that Scotch whisky export growth will continue for the foreseeable future. 

Exports for Year to Date: January to December (MLPA) 

All Markets                              TOTAL     

Year to December 2019          366.66 

Year to December 2020          320.63 

Year to December 2021          387.14 

% Change 2020/21                     20.7% 

% Change 2019/21                       5.6% 

EU Markets 

Year to December 2019           130.14 

Year to December 2020           122.86 

Year to December 2021           134.61 

% Change 2020/21                         9.6% 

% Change 2019/21                         3.4% 

All Other Markets 

Year to December 2019             236.52 

Year to December 2020             197.77 

Year to December 2021             252.53 

% Change 2020/21                         27.7% 

% Change 2019/21                           6.8%  

Finally, we are going to finish with a Top 10 which we know will surprise many people. We have also included the following showing the ranking and visitor numbers of some of the famous distilleries. 

The Top 10 Distilleries for Number of Visitors (2019) 

1) Lochranza                115,000   - Highlands (Isle of Arran.) 

2) Glengoyne                  81,848  - Southern Highlands 

3) Blair Athol                   78,525  - Southern Highlands 

4) Glenturret                   68,000  - Southern Highlands 

5) Talisker                        59,383  -  Highlands (Skye) 

6) Dalwhinnie                  58,747  - Speyside 

7) Oban                             57,031  - Western Highlands 

8) Glenfiddich                  56,954  - Speyside 

9) Macallan                      55,000  - Speyside 

10) Glenkinchie                  46,782  - Lowland. 

 20) Lagavulin                       31,862 – Islay 

21) The Glenlivet                31,688 – Speyside 

22) Glenmorangie               28,750 – Northern Highlands 

25) Laphroaig                       25,558 – Islay 

31) Highland Park                17,217 – Highland (Orkneys) 

 33) Ardbeg                            15,500 – Islay 

 37) Aberlour                         13,646 – Speyside 

 51) Springbank                       7,250 -  Campbeltown 

 52) Dalmore                            5,800 – Northern Highlands 

 58) Balvenie                            3,276 -  Speyside 

We hope you’ve enjoyed the second part of our statistical insight into the World of Scotch Whisky. Part 3 coming soon… 

To find out more about purchasing Scotch Whisky casks, contact the Masters today.

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