The Scotch Whisky Association has confirmed that 2010 was a record year for exports of Scotch whisky.
Figures released by the trade body show that global shipments were valued at £3.45 billion – a 10% increase on the previous year.
The SWA reported encouraging growth in exports of both blended and malt whisky. Single Malt exports rose by 18% to £577m, while bottled blended Scotch shipments rose by 5% to £2.6bn.
Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the SWA, said in a statement: “Scotch whisky is a world class industry that consistently delivers for the UK.
“Global exports increased for the sixth consecutive year and are now 60% higher in value than in 2000.
“This year’s strong performance – contributing £109 a second to UK exports – demonstrates that distillers are playing a key role in export-led recovery.
“To help distillers build on a successful 2010, the SWA continues to work hard to secure fair access to Scotch whisky’s export markets and better legal protection.
“We saw real progress on our trade agenda last year, including agreements for lower tariffs in South Korea and GI registration in China.”
He added: “This year we look to the successful conclusion of the EU-India free trade negotiations to deliver major improvements in the tariff and trading conditions for our members’ brands in India, a market offering significant future potential.”