In the week that Whisky Live hit the Mother City like a full force gale which blew away my own invitation, the news from Scotland seemed simply splendid. As the Guardian reports this morning “figures released earlier this week by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) reveal that exports remain at record levels. In the full 12 months to the end of June 2012, they increased in value by 12pc to £4.2 billion from £3.8bn.” Serious tom. So why would the owners of Whisky Live sell their golden goose to Prime Media, as is reliably rumoured?
Digging a little deeper reveals that not all is haggis and hairy sporrans. SA has slipped to #8 in the top ten export market with imports down to £54.8 million in the year to end June from £65.5m – a slump of over 16%, beaten only by the 24% collapse of Spain which is down to #5, the position SA used to play. The exit of Ray Edwards stage left, liquor leviathan at Spar, is clearly being felt and the position is likely to get worse as successor Mark Robinson focuses on wine. In spite of drinking the Scottish stuff in his personal capacity (as SBIG might say) at Thursday’s Kleine Zalze launch of the rejuvenated Olive Brook range, wines praised to the heavens by independent wine commentator Christian Eedes (above).
The United Arab Emirates remains at #10, a handy position indeed for a Moslem country while Singapore slipped slightly at #3. A fair bit of its annual £146.2m import bill may end up in Johannesburg as grey market imports continue to confound Brand House and other importers. That said, when it comes to whisky competitions, I’m a seller while when it comes to Supermarket wine promotions like the Ultra Liqours 100 Women, 100 Wines project, it’s a buyer’s market out there.
disclosure: the author advises the Ultra Liqours 100 Women, 100 Wines competition
SWA don’t seem to have published the figures by volume this time so hard to tell if we’re drinking less Scotch or just cheaper Scotch. There are a couple of great local whiskies so maybe local-is-lekker is a factor.
Good point Paul, but with the rand falling like a stick, whisky imports will be under continued pressure while wine exports will benefit.
United Arab Emirates remains at #10, a handy position indeed for a Moslem country
Might that position be to do with their airport duty free shops?
The whisky import/export figure often fluctuate. It usually the case that the figures will gain back ground in time, especially if there has been good sales in the past. Quality always pulls through!
Well good post shared. Interesting one