Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Why they’ve cut back on whisky in Greece and Spain

22:01 |

The Scotch Whisky Association is celebrating a record-breaking 2010, but exporters are starting to feel the pinch from Europe's economic woes.

Global shipments climbed 10 per cent last year to reach £3.45-billion, the Edinburgh-based group said today. Since the turn of the century, exports have claimed 60 per cent, it boasted.

Notable in its figures is that the so-called BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - are showing stunning growth, while North America also shows an increase. But the value of shipments in the European Union are flat, and down markedly in Greece and Spain, both troubled countries with high debt burdens.

"Greek excise duty on Scotch Whisky, for example, was increased three times in 2010 as part of the government's austerity measures," the association said.

The value of shipments tumbled 26 per cent in Greece last year and 15 per cent in Spain, and while up in France it was just by 4 per cent. Germany, the economic engine of the continent, is showing no ill effects: The value of shipments was up by 22 per cent.

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