Latest figures from the Scotch Whisky Association show sizeable dips in export values, notably to some Asian markets despite an increase in overall export volume volumes.
The figures show the value of Scotch whisky sales dipped slightly on the the previous year, from £4.27 billion in 2012 to £4.26 billion in 2013, though the volume of sales rose 2.5 per cent, the equivalent of 1.23 billion bottles.
Scotch whisky performed strongly in the US, Mexico and India but direct exports to China fell by nearly 30% to £51 million.
In the US, which is by far the largest market for Scotch by value, exports grew 8% on 2012 to a record £819 million, representing nearly £1 in every £5 of exports.
Sales to Taiwan, South Korea and Japan also fell in value, by between 13% and 15%.
France remained the largest volume market for Scotch.
SWA said sales there rose by 16% as the market recovered following a tax hike on spirits at the start of 2012.
India, which is now Scotch whisky's fourth biggest market by volume, saw the value of whisky sales climb by 12% to £69 million.
“The unprecedented investment programmes in Scotch Whisky by producers show that in the long term they are confident that demand will continue to grow,” said David Frost, CEO of the SWA.
“However, in the short run, there are some economic headwinds. Formal and informal barriers to trade remain. We should remember that the industry’s success does not come automatically but is based on hard work, investment and careful stewardship.”