COMMONWEALTH countries account for nearly ­ one- fifth of Scotch whisky exports, figures released by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) on the eve of Glasgow 2014 have revealed.

The data shows exports to the Commonwealth rose by one per cent to £793 million last year — 19 per cent of the global total of £4.3 billion.

Singapore was the biggest Commonwealth market for Scotch last year with exports of £330 million, though the SWA notes that much of this whisky would have ultimately been distributed to other parts of Asia.

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South Africa was the second largest destination, with exports of £163 million in 2013.

The SWA highlighted the prospects for further growth in Africa, noting the "great potential in Nigeria". With exports up 43 per cent to nearly £14 million, it was the seventh-biggest Commonwealth market last year.

Whisky exports to India were worth £69 million in 2013, making it the fourth-biggest market in the block.