Whisky imports drop 9%
South African imports of Scotch whisky decreased 9% in the first half of the year to 18.7-million bottles. However, South Africa had moved one spot higher to being the seventh-largest export market for the product‚ the Scotch Whisky Association said. The country spent £39.9- million (R727-million) on Scotch imports in the first half of the year, down 19% in cash terms compared with the same period last year. Overall, global export volumes grew for the first time since 2013‚ by 3.1%, for the first half of the year with 533-million bottles shipped‚ compared with 517-million in the same period last year. But in value terms‚ exports fell by 1% to £1.7-billion (R31-billion)‚ which is less of a decline compared with a 3% drop in the same period last year. Scotch whisky sales are regarded by some economists as a useful barometer of economic prospects. South Africa‚ the US, Australia, Mexico‚ Thailand‚ Tai - wan‚ South Korea‚ Italy and Turkey all noted lower import volumes.