An end to Japanese whisky market's decade long recession may be in sight. Or am I get over excited over a blip on a graph? According to a report in the Asahi Shimbun, Japanese whisky production increased for the first time in 11 years in 2009.
Shipments increased 10.3 per cent. The last time we saw in increase of more than 10 per cent was way back in 1983, the high-water mark the Japanese whisky boom.
Domestic consumption is up, partly due to some highly successful campaigns to push whisky based mixed drinks including highballs, but exports are also in unprecedented good health. According to the Asahi report, Suntory exported 106,000 cases last year, up 17 per cent and Nikka saw a 11 per cent increase in European sales. The Asahi Shimbun says Nikka plans to increase its whisky exports 40 per cent next year to 25,000 cases.
Disclosure: I work for the Asahi Shimbun.