International exports increase 6.2% to £32.4 billion

Scotland’s international exports increased in 2017, up 6.2 per cent to £32.4 billion. Scotland’s exports to the rest of the UK also increased, up 4.6 per cent.

‘Export Statistics Scotland 2017’ provides estimates of the cash value of Scotland’s exports of goods and services, by industry and destination in 2017. These show that Scotland’s international exports (excluding oil and gas) increased by £1.9 billion (6.2 per cent) to £32.4 billion in 2017. This is the highest annual growth rate since 2011.

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The latest statistics show strong performance for the manufacturing sector, driven by growth in exports of refined petroleum and chemical products, up £915 million (35.6 per cent) and exports of computer, electronic and optical products, up £550 million (41.1 per cent). The food and beverages sector also contributed to the overall increase, with exports up £455 million (8.4 per cent) to £5.9 billion in 2017, underpinned by strong whisky exports (£4.4 billion in 2017).

EU exports provided the majority of the growth in the value of international exports, increasing by £1.7 billion (13.3 per cent) to £14.9 billion in 2017. Scotland’s exports to non-EU countries grew at a slower rate, increasing by £145 million (0.8 per cent) to £17.6 billion.

Scottish exports to the rest of the UK (excluding oil and gas) increased in 2017, up £2.2 billion (4.6 per cent) to £48.9 billion. This was driven by increased exports from the service sector, and in particular, exports of financial and insurance activities which increased by £1.2 billion (15.0 per cent) to £9.1 billion.

Total international and rest of the UK exports in 2017 (excluding oil and gas) were estimated at £81.4 billion, up £4.1 billion (5.2 per cent) from the previous year. Exports to the rest of the UK accounted for 60 per cent of this overall total, EU exports accounted for 18 per cent and non-EU exports accounted for 22 per cent.

The USA continues to be Scotland’s top international export destination country with an estimated £5.5 billion of exports of goods and services from Scotland in 2017. Within the EU, the Netherlands (£2.5 billion) continues to be the largest market, followed by France (£2.4 billion) and Germany (£2.3 billion) in 2017.

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

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