More than ever, we’re living in a data driven world. Thanks to DISCUS (Distilled Spirits Council of The United States), we’re able to share with you some interesting data for the TOP 10 Export Markets for American Whiskey over the last 6 years (2016 – 2021).
Top five markets for American Whiskeys in 2021: European Union ($440 million); Japan ($95 million); United Kingdom ($88 million); Australia ($84 million); and Canada ($68 million)
NOTE: Difference in graph coloration prior to 2019 (2016 – 2018), representing pre-whiskey tariffs between the US and Euro/UK.
JAPAN is #1. For 3 Years Straight.
It’s no secret Japan has been a long time friend of Bourbon. We were a bit surprised however to see them take the top spot, for 3 years in a row (2021 – 2019), note 2021 is missing Dec data. In 2019, they leap frogged 5 spots to take #1 and haven’t let go of it since. While we’d love to say Japan’s elevated positioning was based on their own enhanced appetite for American Whiskey, #’s unfortunately suggest otherwise when you look at the year over year totals over the years.
Whiskey Tariffs. No Bueno.
Whiskey tariffs between the USA and Euro Union/Britain started in 2018. It did the industry no favors. Noticeable downward shifts occurred following, and of course, coupled with on premise (bar/restaurant) closures per Covid beginning 2021. But the numbers speak clearly.
Tariffs. Hurt. American Whiskey.
- 2017 and 2018 saw UK as #1, it wasn’t even close. UK also had 2016 #1 spot.
- UK dropped 32%+ from 2018 to 2019.
- 2018 to 2019 saw total values of the Top 10 plummet 16%+.
- 2016 to 2018, there was a 22% INCREASE from Top 10 Countries, $681,511,618 to $831,687,525 respectively. AW was booming overseas in Europe.
- UK’s 25% retaliatory tariff on American Whiskeys (suspended this year), resulted in a 42% decline in exports between 2018 and 2021
- Japan had a 20%+ increase from 2018 to 2019 (Not all bad news here).
- In 2021, total American Whiskey exports reached $975 million; this represents a 15% rebounding from 2020 levels, but an 18% decline compared to 2018
- 2021 U.S. spirits exports increased 14% compared to 2020, reaching $1.6 billion, a level still below the 2018 pre-tariff levels of approximately $1.8 billion.
- Top five markets for American Whiskeys in 2021: European Union ($440 million); Japan ($95 million); United Kingdom ($88 million); Australia ($84 million); and Canada ($68 million)