Canadian Spirits Exports Down in 2017


TORONTO — Statistics Canada reports the value of Canadian spirits exported internationally declined 5.1 per cent in 2017 from the previous year.

“The March 2017 Federal Budget that increased Canadian liquor-excise duties immediately by two per cent to 7.8 per cent on Canadian whisky and other Canadian alcohol products, with automatic annual increases every year thereafter, had a negative impact as manufacturers and brand owners sought to reduce costs and throttled back on their investments domestically and internationally,” says Jan Westcott, Spirits Canada president & CEO.

The value of Canadian spirits exports declined from $674.7 million to $639.9 million. Despite this drop, spirits still accounted for 68 per cent of the value of all Canadian beverage-alcohol exports in 2017, far surpassing the combined value of beer, cider and wine exports.

Canadian whisky accounted for $365 million of the total value of Canadian spirits exports, followed by liqueurs at $155 million. Vodka, gin, rum and grain-neutral spirits accounted for the remainder.

“While Canadian excise duties are not charged on products exported outside of Canada, the hike in taxes in our home market has already begun to further erode the competitiveness of Canadian spirits manufacturers, a decline we fear will only accelerate in 2018 with the cut in spirits excise duties by the United States earlier this year,” adds Westcott. “Canada urgently needs liquor excise-duty reform and an elimination of the damaging annual escalator tax to bring fairness to Canadian whisky makers.”

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