According to the Scotch Whisky Association’s (SWA) analysis of official HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) figures, Scotch whiskey exports have increased by 10.8% to £1.97bn in the first half of this year.

Export volume also witnessed a 5.6% increase, which is equivalent to nearly 558 million bottles, and there was a 14.4% increase in single malts exports.

In addition, single malts occupied 28% of the value of all Scotch shipped overseas.

SWA’s CEO Karen Betts said: “It’s hugely encouraging to see Scotch whisky exports continue to grow at double-digit rates in the first half of this year.

“Scotch whisky is a luxury spirit that is crafted with care in Scotland and enjoyed all over the world in established markets such as the EU and emerging markets such as India and China.

“As the UK leaves the EU, the industry wants to continue to trade with the EU as easily as it has while being able to pursue growth opportunities globally.”

“As the UK leaves the EU, the industry wants to continue to trade with the EU.”

Blended Scotch whisky exports are reported to have registered an 8.9% increase in the first half of this year.

The data suggested that the US remained the largest export market for Scotch whiskey, while exports to China increased by 34.8% to £36.3m. France was the largest in terms of volume at almost 90 million bottles.

Betts further added: “But in order to flourish overseas, the industry needs support at home. Competitive tax rates are crucial, enabling producers to start-up, scale-up and invest for growth, such that they continue to be the dynamic job-creators, employers, tax-generators and exporters that they are.

“Right now, £3 in every £4 spent on Scotch in the UK is collected in tax by HM Treasury. The industry believes this tax burden is too high, and is more likely to stifle growth than nurture it. That is why we are calling on the Chancellor to freeze duty on Scotch whisky in the Autumn budget.”

The SWA’s call to reduce duty joins other drinks associations across the industry, including those representing products such as spirits and wine.