An increase in sales to the rest of the UK helped to boost overall exports from Scotland in 2014, according to official estimates. Total exports, excluding oil and gas, rose by 0.8% to £76bn.
Sales to the rest of the UK climbed by 3.2% to £48.5bn, lifted by increases in the service sector (+£1.8bn) and manufacturing (+£20m), but overseas exports dropped by 3.2% to £27.5bn, following a sharp fall in sales from manufacturing businesses.
Food and drink exports were also estimated to have fallen by £250m to £4.8bn, with whisky exports alone dropping by 7% over the year to £4bn; Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the figures showed a “mixed picture”.
According to Export Statistics Scotland estimates, the USA continued to be Scotland’s top export destination, with an estimated £4bn worth of goods and services. This was followed by Netherlands (£1.9bn), France (£1.9bn) and Germany (£1.8bn).
The top 10 export destinations accounted for 54% of total international exports.
The largest overseas exporting industry was food and drink, which accounted for £4.8bn, or 17.3%, of all exports. In 2014 services accounted for 56% of all the rest of UK exports, compared with 38% of international exports.