New figures from industry body the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) show that the value of whisky exports rose by 19 per cent, to £4.51bn. The number of 70cl bottles exported grew by 21 per cent to the equivalent of 1.38 billion.
Growth in 2021 was driven in particular by consumers in Asia Pacific and Latin America, with value increases of 21 per cent and 71 per cent respectively. Key emerging markets for Scotch, such as India, Brazil, and China, grew strongly, the SWA noted.
Exports grew by 8 per cent in the US - the industry largest market by value - despite the first quarter of 2021 being impacted by the 25 per cent tariff on single malts. Exports to the European Union grew by a similar 8 per cent in the first year since the UK left the transition period.
SWA chief executive Mark Kent said: “The global footprint of the industry in 2021 is a clear sign that the Scotch whisky industry is on the road to recovery.”
Meanwhile, UK government figures show that Scottish salmon exports recovered to near-record levels in 2021.
Salmon overseas sales increased to £614 million - up 36 per cent compared to 2020 and only marginally below the £618mi recorded in 2019.
The industry directly employs 2,500 people in Scotland and supports more than 3,600 suppliers.