Exports of single malt and blended Scotch whisky increased 4% in 2006 valuing the market at a record £2.5b, according to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).
Sales of bottled malt whisky rose by 7% to £408m while sales of bottled blended Scotch rose by 4% to £1.92b.
Over a billion bottles were exported during 2006 marking a rise of 6% to 1,051 million bottles.
The main area for export growth was in Central and South America with sales up in the region 24% compared with 2005.
North American sales rose by 6%, while Asian sales grew by 2%. EU exports were essentially flat at 0.2% growth.
Richard Burrows, SWA chairman, said: “I'm greatly encouraged that distillers, large and small, are investing in facilities in Scotland and taking advantage of opportunities worldwide.”
But he warned: “To support the industry's international competitiveness, the SWA is continuing to press the case for new legislation that will improve both the legal protection of Scotch Whisky and help promote it to consumers around the world.”
By Christopher Walton
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