Scotch Whisky and Shortage Feared As Asian, Latin American As Water Demand Soars

Growing international demand for Scotch whisky is reportedly causing some to fear that there may be a shortage as Asian and Latin America demand rises. Some Islay distilleries shut down last year because of a water shortage, causing production to slow.

Scotch Whisky Shortage – Growing international demand for Scotch whisky is reportedly causing some to fear that there may be a shortage as Asian and Latin America demand rises. Some Islay distilleries shut down last year because of a water shortage, causing production to slow.

The latest quarterly figures show that in the last nine months its sales overseas climbed by 23% compared with last year.

That is before Christmas and New Year sales are taken into account, putting the industry on course to shatter last year’s $3.4 billion export record in Britain.

SWA executives said this surge in popularity, built on the growth of an affluent, image-conscious middle class in emerging markets in South America and Asia, could mean that some distilleries and producers might temporarily run short of supplies, as whisky production has a “lag time” of 10 to years or more.

The association calculated that this rate of sales meant the whisky industry was earning $125 every second for Britain’s balance of payments, making it the “stellar” export performer and the most successful of all “fast moving” products made in the UK.

Ian Curle, the Scotch and Whiskey Assocation’s newly appointed chairman, and chief executive of the Edrington group, producers of The Famous Grouse, said much of recent success overseas had been driven by the growth in consumers who see the drink as a prestigious symbol of their wealth and status, in preference to indigenous spirits.

The final overseas sales value of whisky, which helps support 10,300 direct jobs and 35,000 suppliers’ jobs, could be as much as $10 billion. The best-selling brand is Johnnie Walker, made by Diageo, with 20% of the market.