Scotch, salmon drive UK Q1 exports to record £5.8bn

Booming overseas sales of Scotch whisky and Scottish salmon helped first quarter UK food and drink exports increased by 10.7% to £5.8 billion, almost twice the growth rate of Q1 2018 and the biggest first quarter sales value on record.

Whisky is by far the UK’s biggest food and drink export, followed by salmon in second place.

Whisky exports — almost all from Scotland — rose 19.2% year-on-year in the first quarter to £1.139 billion. 

And quarterly salmon exports soared 40.9% to £206.5 million.

The UK’s Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has published its latest analysis which shows that Q1 2019 food and drink export growth to non-EU markets (+12.2%) outpaced growth to EU markets (+9.9%).

Food and Drink Federation CEO Ian Wright said: “The food and drink industry continues to out-perform expectations, delivering another quarter of exceptional exports growth despite the damaging uncertainty with which businesses have to contend.”