Six of the top 10 whisky exporters in 2021 are European nations: the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) estimates that global external sales of this product totaled $12.618 billion last year.
Conversely, the United States leads global imports, followed by France, Singapore, Taiwan and Germany.
In the United States, the alcoholic beverage sector is subject to strict federal and state regulations.
At the federal level, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) of the Department of the Treasury oversees the beverage alcohol sector in the United States, regulating and collecting taxes on alcohol production in the country and regulating trade practices.
In addition, individual U.S. states, as well as some local authorities in U.S. jurisdictions, administer and enforce industry-specific regulations and may levy additional excise taxes and, in many states, sales taxes.
In the European Union, these products are subject to different excise duty rates in each country, but within the general framework of the European Union there are minimum excise duty rates that must first be applied to each relevant category of alcoholic beverages.
Following its exit from the European Union, the United Kingdom is no longer subject to EU excise duty rules and has undertaken a review of its alcohol tax system.
The top five whisky exporters were: the United Kingdom ($6,379 million), the United States ($1,061 million), Ireland ($977 million), Singapore ($780 million) and Japan ($421 million).
This was followed by France (US$362 million), the Netherlands (US$346 million), Canada (US$295 million), Germany (US$285 million) and Spain (US$170 million).
Top brands include Glenmorangie Signet, Macallan 12 Year Double Cask, Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Oban Distillers Edition Single Malt, Bowmore Islay, Buchanan’s 12 Year Scotch, Highland Park 12 Year Old, Glenlivet 12 Year, Yamazaki 12 Year Old and Knappogue Castle 16 Year Old.
The global alcohol market is a $1 trillion business, with revenues growing annually from $1.2 billion in 2012, to $1.7 billion in 2019.
With the Covid-19 related closures restricting social and recreational activities, revenues dropped to an estimated $1.5 and $1.4 billion in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
However, growth is expected to resume, with revenue forecast at $2.2 billion in 2025.
The industry comprises three main segments, with beer being the largest ($552 billion in sales in 2021), followed by spirits ($468 billion) and wine ($306 billion), respectively.
The three segments account for more than 90% of the sector’s total sales.