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Brexit fails to dampen spirit of Scotch but India sales down

Figures from the Scotch Whisky Association show that there was a 4.8% drop in the number of bottles exported to India in 2017.

india Updated: Feb 11, 2018 21:13 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Brexit,Scotch whisky,United Kingdom
India remained the third largest destination for the whisky industry’s exports in 2017.(File)

There is much uncertainty in the United Kingdom over the future of trade and exports due to Brexit, but new figures show that Scotch whisky sales have continues to soar, though there was a decline in the number of bottles exported to India.

India remained the third largest destination for the industry’s exports in 2017 with 89 million 70cl (750 ml) bottles, after France and the United States. However, figures from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) show that the 89 million bottles exported were 4.8% less than the number exported to India in 2016 (94 million bottles).

The industry — which had sales worth £4.5 billion in 2017 — is keen that India lowers imports tariffs, saying it affects growth and the ability of aficionados to access genuine quality.

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson wants Scotch whisky to figure on top of the agenda for talks on a free trade agreement with India after the UK leaves the European Union, expected in March 2019.

SWA said exports earned the industry £139 every second in 2017, while 39 bottles were shipped every second during the year.

Karen Betts of SWA said: “It is very important to the industry that our global markets remain robust and resilient as the UK navigates Brexit and establishes new trading relationships around the world.”

The UK’s major exports in the food and drink sector include whisky (£4.5 billion), salmon (£720 million), chocolate (£680 million), cheese (£623 million), beer (£603 million) and shellfish (£600 million).

First Published: Feb 11, 2018 21:13 IST