Scotland’s exports up 4.1% to £78.6bn

Scotland’s exports to the rest of the UK and to international markets in 2015 — excluding oil and gas — were estimated at £78.6 billion, up £3.1 billion or 4.1% from 2014, according to latest figures from Scotland’s chief statistician.

Exports to the rest of the UK accounted for 63% of the total, EU exports accounted for 16% and non-EU exports made up 21%.

Exports to the rest of the UK in 2015 were estimated at £49.8 billion, an increase of £2.1 billion, driven by a rise in the export of utilities such as electricity, gas and water.

Exports to countries within the European Union were estimated at £12.3 billion, up £520 million on the previous year, driven by an increase in the export of petroleum and chemical products.

Scotland’s total international exports rose from £27.7 billion in 2014 to £28.7 billion in 2015.

The US continues to be Scotland’s top trading partner outside the EU.

Within the EU, the Netherlands was again the largest market.

David Mundell, the UK government’s Secretary of State for Scotland, said: “The Scottish government’s own figures show our trade with the rest of the UK is worth four times our exports to the EU.

“Businesses in Scotland sold £37.5 billion more in goods and services to their own market in the UK than they did to all 27 EU countries put together.

“Today’s figures show the UK is the vital union for Scotland, and highlight the importance of maintaining the UK market and preventing any new barriers to doing business across the UK as we leave the EU.

“We know the Scottish government’s constant talk of a second independence referendum is creating damaging uncertainty for the Scottish economy.

“I again call on the First Minister to end that uncertainty by taking her threat of another referendum off the table and working with us to get the best deal for Scotland and the whole of the UK.”

The Scottish Government’s economy secretary Keith Brown said: “It is hugely encouraging to see that Scotland’s total international exports, excluding oil and gas, increased by £1 billion in a year.

“It is clear that since the vote to leave the European Union, we must continue to be seen to be a country that is outward facing and open for business.

“The EU market is eight times the size of UK market, which highlights the importance of remaining in the Single Market.

“I want to be clear that Scotland should not face a choice between exporting to the EU or UK. We can do both.

“We are working on an ambitious programme of internationalisation, including measures to broaden Scotland’s export base and to grow exports beyond our traditional markets …”