Manufactured exports from Scotland fell by 4% as the effect of the Grangemouth petrochemical plant dispute hit sales. Official figures from Scotland’s Chief Statistician Roger Halliday showed the drop-off in activity in the fourth quarter of last year.
In spite of the Grangemouth problem — which resulted in a 20% fall in petroleum, chemicals and pharmaceuticals volumes — total manufactured export volumes were still 1.9% up on the full year.
Engineering and metal exports were up 5.5% in the period, but food and drink products fared poorly with a 5.5% fall.
The export figures came as the CBI’s Industrial Trends Survey reported the fastest growth in factory orders for 20 years, and business optimism among manufacturers saw its sharpest improvement since 1973.