European spirits’ exports reached €10.2 billion in 2012, a positive growth of 20% from the €8.5 billion in the previous year.  As a result, spirits are and remain the EU’s biggest agri-food exports and generated a positive balance of trade close to €9 billion last year.

logoThese are great results, and show the competitiveness of the sector in some very difficult markets around the world.  At a time when many domestic European markets are struggling, we underline the importance of these thriving export markets to this sector.  These exports generate jobs and investment in Europe at a time when both are badly needed.  And, they generate close to €9 billion net for the European economy, as imports of spirits to the EU remain steady.

Looking closely at key exports markets:

  • A solid growth in the USA (over €3 billion with a 22% increase) and Canada (with a 31% increase compared to 2011).  These two markets continue to be attractive for our European products.
  • Growth for premium branded European spirits remained strong in emerging markets, driven by China (+19%) despite the economic slowdown, and South East Asia (+25%). FTAs with ASEAN countries are necessary to continue to target the huge potential in South East Asia that remains untapped.
  • Growth in Eastern Europe is driven by Russia (+37%, the second largest export market overall) despite a challenging market environment.
  • While India is a growing market, EU imported spirit drinks only represent a tiny fraction of the total market which should grow substantially with the conclusion of an FTA, currently being negotiated.
  • Growth is driven by the whiskies category (44% of spirits exports) followed by cognac (26% of total exports).