American Spirits Exports Grow Double Digits, Led By Whiskey

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The value of U.S. distilled spirits exports rose a robust 10.6 percent—up more than $67 million—to a total of $698.5 million in the first half of 2017 as compared with the same period in 2016, the Distilled Spirits Council reported today.

In dollar terms, the growth was led by the largest category: American whiskeys including Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey and American Rye, which rose nearly $27 million to $464.6 million up 6.1 percent. But, smaller categories of other American spirits showed strong increases such as brandy, up 39.4 percent or $12.2 million to $43.45 million total; vodka, up 51.2 percent or $11.4 million to $33.6 million total; and rum, up 49.5 percent or $5.2 million to $18.55 million total, respectively.

“This clearly demonstrates the growing appeal of US-made spirits, particularly American whiskeys, in many foreign markets,” said Council Senior Vice President for International Trade Christine LoCascio. “But other traditionally smaller categories such as brandy, vodka and rum are now showing strength in many highly competitive markets.”

Strong Growth Markets Include UK, Japan, Germany, France

LoCascio pointed out among the largest gains were in the United Kingdom, up 39 percent or $18 million to $64.8 million; Germany, up 33 percent or $13.6 million to $55.4 million; France, up 21.4 percent or $9.1 million to $51.8 million; Brazil, up 313.8 percent or $7.8 million to $10.2 million; Panama, up 76.5 percent or $6.6 million to $15.3 million; and Japan, up 14.3 percent or $6.5 million $52.2 million.

“Around the world, adult consumers are seeking out American spirits because of their diversity of flavors and styles, mixability and authentic heritage,” LoCascio stated. “As in the domestic market, premiumization is the backbone of our export strength.”

Other strong markets for U.S.-made spirits markets for the first six months included Italy, Poland, Latvia and Chile, LoCascio added. Canada remains the single largest market for U.S. spirits exports, which were valued at $87.6 million between January and June 2017.  Mexico is the tenth largest export market, with sales totaling $18.4 million over the same period, she said.

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