Scots exports to UK and world up 2.9% to £85bn

Scotland’s total international and rest of the UK exports — excluding oil and gas — increased 2.9% to £85 billion in 2018.

Exports to the rest of the UK accounted for 60% of the total, EU exports accounted for 19% and non-EU exports accounted for 21%.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician on Wednesday released Export Statistics Scotland 2018, which provides estimates of the cash value of Scotland’s exports of goods and services by industry and destination for 2018.

The United States continues to be Scotland’s top international export destination country with an estimated £5.5 billion of goods and services exports in 2018.

Within the EU, France (£3.0 billion) overtook the Netherlands (£2.8 billion) as the largest market, followed by Germany (£2.5 billion).

Scotland’s international exports increased 3.4% and exports to the rest of the UK increased 2.5%.

Scotland’s international exports (excluding oil and gas) increased £1.1 billion to £33.8 billion.

This was helped by strong performance in exports of food and beverages, up £420 million or 7.1%, underpinned by strong whisky exports.

The manufacture of food and beverages continues to be the largest industry for international exports in Scotland.

Scottish exports to EU countries grew 4.5% to £16.1 billion in 2018. International exports to non-EU countries grew 2.5% to £17.7 billion.

Scottish exports to the rest of the UK (excluding oil and gas) rose 2.5% to £51.2 billion.

This was driven by a strong performance in exports of financial and insurance activities and utilities.

Economy Secretary Derek Mackay said: “I welcome these figures, which demonstrate the strength of the Scottish economy, and the increasing value of exports.

“It is encouraging to see demand for high quality Scottish products like our world-renowned food and drink continuing to rise.

“Significantly, they show that exports to the European Union grew at a faster rate than those to the rest of the UK or to other international markets.

“That demonstrates the growing value of the EU to Scotland’s exporters.

“On Friday Scotland will be taken out of the European Union against our wishes – removing us from the world’s biggest trading bloc.

“That threatens to cause significant damage to the Scottish economy, and poses particular problems for exporters, making it harder for us to reach our ambitious target of international exports being 25% of GDP by 2029.

“That is why the Scottish Government will continue to work to support exporting businesses, develop international links and encourage inclusive growth as set out in the refreshed Economic Action Plan I launched last week.”