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Asia driving global malt whisky growth

By RJ Whitehead , 31-Mar-2014

Asia driving global malt whisky growth

Strong growth in Asia has driven the world’s malt whisky sector, which grew by 46.7% between 2003 and 2012, according to a new report from just-drinks and The IWSR.

With the overall industry hitting a record high in 2012 of 7.8m cases, the study predicts that Asia will continue to see a "very dynamic" compound annual growth rate of 20.2%, and reach around 1.5m cases in 2012. 

Taiwan on a high

While most of this growth came from Taiwan, the report found that most countries in Asia are experiencing "healthy growth". Taiwan overtook France in 2012 to become the second-largest market for malt.

Another key driver for the malt sector has been the travel retail market, which has grown its share of the category from 12% in 2003 to 15% in 2012. This market’s sales in value terms reached US$447.7m in 2012.

Growth has also been strong in the Americas. North America has registered a "very healthy" 6.3% CAGR over the last 10 years, according to the report. In 2012, the country was the largest malt market in the world at 1.4m cases, representing a rise of almost 12% from 2011.

US still strong

The US is also the largest individual market in retail value terms (including excise duties), with a 15.5% share in 2012. The US malt category’s retail value sales climbed from US$272.5m in 2003 to just under US$613m in 2012.

Overall, the global malt market expanded at a CAGR of 7% between 2007 and 2012 in retail value terms, including excise taxes and duties, to reach US$3.95bn.

Europe is the largest region by retail value with a 38% share, followed by Asia-Pacific at 22%, the Americas at 21% and travel retail at 11.3%.

However, Europe’s share of the global market has fallen from almost 60% in 2003. Most of this decline can be attributed to softening sales in Southern Europe as a result of the economic crisis.

Italy, Spain and Greece have all seen sharp declines, the report stated.

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