The three things I’ve mentioned in the title could either be great news or a perfect storm for the Scotch industry and here are my thoughts on it all.
I don’t agree with a minimum price on alcohol but it’s coming in Scotland and might well come right across the UK. I don’t agree with it because it just hurts people with less money rather than focusing on the real causes of alcohol dependence but let’s have a wee look at the breakdown of what we’ll be paying North of the Border.
40% abv bottles so your minimum abv whisky will contain 28 units that’s a minimum price of £14 a bottle.
43% will be £15
46% will be £16
50% will be £17
60% will be £21
Now those are the minimum prices you can charge but that will have to be added in to the current costs so we can all expect to see offers coming down and average prices rising, we’ve yet to see how much of the rise a shop and the brand will suck up but I’ll get that’ll be a bare minimum if anything at all so be warned.
It does make me wonder if we’ll see large booze outlets in Carlisle and Berwick to cope with bevvy tourists driving down from Scotland.
When all is said and done though Scotch sales in Scotland don’t really add up to much when you consider ninety percent is exported anyway so what does Mr Trump in the White House mean?
Well obviously no one can actually tell because he’s not in the job yet but I think it’s safe to say we can assume one of two things will occur.
The first is that he might go full tilt protectionist meaning we can see price hikes in imports and even some sort of tax breaks for American producers. This would hammer the Scotch industry and would be a double whammy for UK buyers because a trade war would mean American imports being more expensive here, bad time.
Or we could see a trade deal which actively helps Scotch. Trump loves Scotland apparently and it might help his Scottish business interests to keep Scotch sales in America rising so Scotch prices might actually come down in price which would be great for Scotland and great for US customers.
Brexit is a strange one, tariffs will need to be set and I’m hoping that the big Scotch buyers in Europe such as Germany and France will look favourably on Scotland but again, we’ll need to wait and see, I’m less confident of a positive outcome here than I am from America as I can see a backlash from countries who don’t buy a lot of Scotch anyway wishing to punish us.
So there we have it folks, let’s hope the doom bringers are wrong.