Scottish export growth fastest in the UK

Fri 9 Mar 2018
Posted by: Sam Pileggi
Trade News

Scotch whisky


Figures released by HM Revenue and Customs have shown that Scotland's exports grew by nearly a fifth in 2017, making it the only part of Britain with a surplus in traded goods.

Scottish exports grew at the fastest rate of any UK nation last year, with a rise in value of 19% to nearly £29bn, while they rose an average of 13% for the UK as a whole.

This is despite figures showing that out of nearly 154,000 companies exporting from the UK last year, it is estimated that only 8900 were Scottish firms.

Globally, oil and gas was Scotland’s fastest-growing sector, the category of "mineral fuels"' rose in value by 45% to £9bn during 2017, as the price of oil firmed.

The biggest single destination for Scottish exported goods was the Netherlands, which also showed the largest value increase between 2016 and 2017, up 41% to £4.32bn. This was followed by China, also up 41% to £2.23bn.

Overall, the figures showed that almost half of the £29bn of exports was to the EU, an increase of about a quarter (24%).

Scotland's Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: 

"I'm sure many people in Scotland will be encouraged, as I was, by today's statistics, which clearly show that Scotland's exports industry is showing strong growth in spite of the looming shadow of Brexit.

"These figures are positive - across a number of sectors and across a number of global markets.

"There was welcome news for oil and gas, with the increase in exports clearly demonstrating that confidence is returning to that sector - which is of course one of Scotland's most important industries.

"Of course the stats also highlight the importance of the EU as a trading partner, with 49% of our goods exported to our European neighbours last year. It is interesting to note that the Netherlands overtook the USA as Scotland's largest export partner - with £4.3bn in goods being sent to the lowland country".


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