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Whisky imports treble in 20 years

Roll out the barrel - to Switzerland: a Scottish worker moves oak casks holding malt whisky Keystone

Swiss demand for whisky continues to grow, with imports last year breaking the four million litre mark. Average annual growth since 1992 is 5.8%.

The Federal Customs Office said on Thursday that between 1992 and 1998, imports were stable at around 1.4 million litres a year. This then doubled in 1999 with the introduction of a uniform tax rate on spirits, which reduced tax on imports. Since then, imports have increased to 4,019,000 litres in 2012.

Thanks to Scotland, Britain is by far the largest supplier, responsible for 66.9% of imports.

Although second-placed United States is far behind with a Swiss market share of 14.7%, it is making inroads into British dominance: in 1992, the respective market shares were 87.2% and 8.9%.

In recent years France and Germany have also been distilling away. Last year their share in Switzerland was 7.1% and 3.2%.

The average pre-tax price per litre has fluctuated over the past two decades between CHF9.50 ($10.70) in 1992 and CHF14.10 in 2007.

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