The Scotch Whisky Association said that overseas sales of whisky broke the £2bn barrier for the tenth successive year in 2002.

Whisky to the value of £2.3bn was shipped to 200 countries with export volume up 9.3% to 46.5 million bottles with a value increase of 11% to £268m.

The SWA said sales in Asian markets have surged ahead, while the US reclaimed top spot as the industry's most valuable market with exports rising 4% to more than £300m.