Spirits Europe's annual trade review has revealed that EU spirits exports in 2016 rose by 5% to reach a value of €10.2 billion. Adding to that, Trade Review stated that spirits generated €8.7billion in net value in 2016 as well. 

This meant that spirits remain one of the most valuable agri-food exports for the EU, standing second only to wine. And according to Spirits Europe's data, it specifically named whisky as the leading product driving this surge. 

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Of the EU spirits exports 2016 figure released by Spirits Europe, whisky commanded 45% of exports, followed by Cognac at 30%, liqueurs and vodka at 10%, gin at 4%, and rum at 1%. 

With that, the continent's spirits industry players are hailing 2016 as a successful year indeed as exports were able to hit €1.1 million per hour throughout the year as well. Director General of Spirits Europe Paul Skehan adds, "These results show how much our European spirit drinks are appreciated around the world." 

While he acknowledges the success being driven also by very effective public-private partnership, Skahen continued further and said that this shouldn't be taken for granted by the region's key industry players in this sector. 


The trade 'narrative' last year was very difficult, with much unjustified criticism of the benefits of open trade. We also witness moves towards a more protectionist stance in many countries around the globe. In that regard, we will oppose any rolling back of agreements already signed, either multilaterally or bilaterally with the EU," added Skahen. 

European spirits exports have doubled in the last decade, much of which driven by Africa and the Middle East where exports rose by 5.8%, followed by demands in Asia and Travel Retail rising by 3.4% and 3.3% respectively. 

The body also outlined the importance of reducing the 'Brexit' impact on FTA negotiations in ensuring the continuation of trade flows between the UK and the EU. In 2016, UK exports to the EU totalled at €2.063 million in 2016, while EU exports the UK amounted to €583 million instead.