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Drinks

US Spirits Exports Rise 8% In 2023 Following EU Tariff Suspension

By Reuters
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US Spirits Exports Rise 8% In 2023 Following EU Tariff Suspension

Spirits exports rose 8% in 2023 to $2.2 billion (€2.046 billion), according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, following the European Union's suspension of 25% retaliatory tariffs on American whiskey.

The tariff suspension in 2022 helped US spirits sales bounce back in the United Kingdom and the EU, which are among the top five export markets for the category.

Export of American whiskey to the EU jumped to $705 million (€655.65 million) in 2023 from $439 million (€408.87 million) in 2021, the data showed.

In 2018, the EU and the United Kingdom imposed import taxes on a wide range of US products, including bourbon whiskeys, for four years after the United States first thrust tariffs of 25% on EU steel and 10% on EU aluminium.

Trade Dispute

The trade dispute had hit US spirits exports and resulted in market share loss for American whiskeys such as Tennessee whiskey, Bourbon, American Rye whiskey and American Single Malt in some of the largest export markets.

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In December, the EU and US decided to extend the tariff suspension until March 2025. However, if no agreement is reached during the extension period, the EU is expected to double its tariff on American whiskeys to 50%.

"There probably was some stockpiling happening to get ahead of the 50% tariff in the second half of the year" in 2023 given the strong demand for premium American spirits in international markets, said Robert Maron, vice-president of international trade at Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

As per the Council, American whiskeys saw a surge of 9% in export value to $1.4 billion (€1.302 billion) and accounted for 63% of all US spirits exports last year.

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