India surpassed France to become the UK’s largest market of Scotch whisky in terms of volume with a 60 per cent year-on-year spike in imports in 2022, according to a report by Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

The volume of Scotch Whisky exports to India has grown by more than 200 per cent in the past decade alone. In contrast to France’s 205 million 70cl Scotch imports last year, India brought in 219 million. In terms of value, India is the fifth-largest market for Scotch exports, worth £282 million, up by 93 per cent YoY, the report noted. 

Scotch whisky market is 2%

Despite double-digit growth, Scotch Whisky still only comprises 2 per cent of the Indian whisky market, said the report. Commenting on the same, Nita Kapoor, CEO, International spirits and wines Association of India said, “The 2 per cent Scotch Whisky includes finished products (BIO) and Bottled in India (BII) given that premiumization trend in India is recent and hopefully will be sustained over time and offer a growth platform under bilateral discussions (FTA) for make in India, export from India brands.” 

SWA analysis showed that a UK-India FTA deal that eases the 150 per cent tariff burden on Scotch Whisky in India could boost market access for Scotland’s whisky companies, allowing for an additional £1 billion of growth over the next five years.

Chief Executive of the SWA Mark Kent said, “By reducing tariffs through the UK-India free trade agreement, continuing the duty freeze in the March budget, and ensuring the industry’s continued ability to advertise our world-class product in our home market, the Scottish and UK governments can count on the Scotch Whisky industry to reinvest its success across the UK.”