Total U.S. spirits exports rebounded in 2021 to $1.6 billion, but retaliatory tariffs continue to stifle export growth, according to a New report published today by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
The report found that total U.S. spirits exports in 2021 were up 14% from 2020, reaching $1.6 billion, still below 2018 pre-tariff levels of around $1.8 billion. .
“U.S. spirits exports are starting to rebound and that’s certainly a positive sign, but 2021 export values remain well below levels reached before the 2018 retaliatory tariffs took effect,” Rob Maron said. , DISCUS Vice President of International Business.
“We commend the Biden administration for securing the suspension of EU retaliatory tariffs on US spirits, including US whiskeys. With approximately 37% of total US spirits exports to the EU, these tariffs retaliatory tariffs have severely affected US spirits exports.The UK’s continued imposition of a 25% retaliatory tariff on US whiskeys will only further dampen growth.
According to the report, the rebound in US spirits exports last year from 2020 levels was due to a variety of factors, including the reopening of the hospitality sector, international consumers choosing more premium and premium US spirits. premium and the lifting of retaliatory tariffs by the main trading partners on certain spirits.
An analysis of the past two decades showed that between 2001 and 2021, global exports of American spirits increased by 220%, from $493 million to $1.6 billion. Most of this increase was driven by American whisky.
Key factors that fueled the growth of spirits exports over the past 20 years included a series of trade agreements, which helped create a level playing field in many markets for U.S. spirits, as well as the increase rapid growth in the number of American craft distillers in the United States. The number of distilleries has grown from less than 100 in 2005 to over 2,300 today.
“The incredible increase in the number of states with distilleries of all sizes that have started exporting overseas has been fascinating,” Maron said, noting that in 2021, American spirits were exported from 45 states. “Spirits consumers around the world are increasingly enjoying the diverse range of American spirits, including American whiskey, gin, vodka and cordials.”
Among the other key findings of the report:
- American whiskeys continued to drive overall US spirits exports in 2021:
- American whiskeys accounted for 61% of all spirits exports by value and 38% by volume in 2021.
- Over the past decade, American whiskeys have accounted for an average of 67% of total US spirits exports.
- The 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).
- Retaliatory tariffs continue to severely affect US whiskey exports:
- The UK continues to apply a 25% retaliatory duty on US whiskeys, which led to a 42% drop in exports between 2018 and 2021.
- In 2021, total exports of American whiskey reached $975 million; this represents a 15% rebound from 2020 levels, but an 18% decline from 2018.
- In January 2022, the EU suspended for two years its 25% retaliation duty on American whiskeys, which had been in place since June 2018. Between 2018 and 2021, exports of American whiskey to the EU fell by 20 % value.
- In addition to American whiskey, there is a wide range of spirit products exported from all over the United States:
- US gin exports increased 59% to $40.1 million; vodka rose 10% to $78.2 million, and liqueurs and syrups rose 41% to $103.8 million.
- The top 10 US spirits exporting states are Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, Texas, Indiana, Illinois, New York, California, Arkansas and New Jersey.
- U.S. exports of spirits to other duty-free markets far exceed those that maintain high tariffs:
- U.S. spirits exports to free trade agreement and duty-free countries reached $1.36 billion in 2021, accounting for 86% of total U.S. spirits exports.
- Between 2011 and 2021, exports to FTA countries grew at a faster rate (52% increase) than total US exports of distilled spirits (25% increase).
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