Japan Data

Japanese Alcohol Exports Hit ¥134 Billion in 2023, But Demand for Whisky on the Wane

Economy Food and Drink

Japanese alcohol exports saw a slight fall in 2023, but still topped ¥100 billion for the third successive year.

According to trade statistics published by the Ministry of Finance, Japan exported over ¥134.4 billion of alcoholic drinks in 2023, down 3.4% from the previous year. This was the first drop after more than a decade of consecutive record-high annual exports. Even so, the export value is twice as high as five years earlier.

Japanese Alcohol Exports

By type of alcohol, the export value of the leading products sake and whisky both fell by more than 10%. In contrast, beer exports enjoyed a year-on-year rise of 66.6% to ¥17.9 billion, boosted by significant growth in exports to South Korea. Looking at the export share for each type, whisky accounted for 37% of the total value, sake 30%, beer 13%, liqueur 9%, and gin and vodka 3%.

Alcohol Exports by Category (2023)

The top importer of Japanese alcohol was China, followed by the United States, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Netherlands. Compared to the previous year though, exports to China, the United States, and Hong Kong all fell by between 10% and 20%.

Top Importers of Japanese Alcohol (2023)

The most recent trends for January to March 2024 showed a decline of 12.1% (¥30.8 billion), compared to the same period the previous year, indicating a continuing weakening in the market. A particularly sharp fall was seen in exports to China, down 47.9% (¥4.3 billion).

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: The whisky production area at Suntory Yamazaki Distillery in Shimamoto, Osaka Prefecture, in February 2023. © Jiji.)

sake exports whisky