Exports up to £76bn, but overseas sales fall

Scotland’s total exports to international markets and the rest of UK in 2014 — excluding oil and gas — rose £570 million to an estimated £76 billion, the Scottish Government said.

However, Scotland’s international exports to markets outside the UK fell by £920 million (3.2%) from £28.4 billion in 2013 to £27.5 billion in 2014.

Scotland’s exports to the rest of UK in 2014 rose £1.5 billion (3.2%) to an estimated £48.5 billion.

Exports to the rest of UK make up about 64% of all exports from Scotland.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the 2014 exports presented a “mixed picture.”

“Exports to North America grew by 2.8%,” said Swinney.

“The value of exports to the USA, the number one (overseas) country for Scottish exports, grew to £4 billion as a result of growth in the US economy stimulating demand for Scottish imports.

“It is, however, a mixed picture. There was a fall in exports to Europe in 2014, with both a weak pace of recovery across the EU and the relatively strong value of sterling combining to make it more challenging for Scottish firms.”

Between 2010 and 2014, Scotland’s international exports to markets outside the UK increased by about £4 billion (17.3%) from £23.4 billion in 2010 to £27.5 billion in 2014.

Swinney said the EU as a whole is still Scotland’s largest international export market, with exports of £11.6 billion from Scotland in 2014, about 42% of all international export sales.

Within the EU, the Netherlands was Scotland’s largest market, followed by France and then Germany.

Manufacturing of food and drink continues to be Scotland’s top international export sector, accounting for £4.8 billion or 17.3% of all international exports.

“International exports from Scotland have now increased by 17.3% since 2010, more than the 15.9% increase for the UK as a whole,” said Swinney.

“The Scottish Government and its enterprise agencies are supporting more companies than ever with their export ambitions, with Scottish Development International helping over 2,500 companies to develop skills to internationalise, access new markets or increase international revenues.

“Separate figures published last year also estimate the number of exporting businesses in Scotland has increased every year since 2011, to around 11,100 businesses.”

Scotland’s second largest sector for international exports is the “legal, accounting, management, architecture, engineering, technical testing and analysis activities” at £2.3 billion or 8.5% of all exports, followed by the manufacture of refined petroleum and chemical products at £2.1 billion or 7.8% of all exports.

Mining and quarrying accounted for £1.9 billion or 6.9% of all international exports, and wholesale and retail trade contributed £1.8 billion or 6.5% of all international exports.