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Scotland's International Exports Up

Published: 24 Jan 2018 09:30
Part of:
Economy, Statistics

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s international exports increased by 1.6 per cent in 2016. However exports to the rest of the UK decreased, down 8.8 per cent.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today released Export Statistics Scotland 2016, which provides estimates of the cash value of Scotland’s exports of goods and services, by industry and destination in 2016. These show that in 2016, Scotland’s international exports (excluding oil and gas) increased by £460 million (1.6 per cent) to £29.8 billion.

The increase in international exports was driven by increased exports of financial and insurance services (up £290 million) and food and beverages (up £275 million). The largest industry for international exports continues to be the manufacture of food and beverages, worth £5.5 billion in 2016, 18 per cent of all international exports.

International exports to countries within the European Union (EU) were estimated at £12.7 billion in 2016, which is 43 per cent of total international exports. This is a decrease of £105 million (0.8 per cent) from the previous year.

However international exports to non-EU countries increased in 2016, up £565 million (3.4 per cent) to £17.1 billion in 2016. This accounted for 57 per cent of total international exports.

Scottish exports to the rest of the UK in 2016 (excluding oil and gas) were estimated at £45.8 billion in 2016, a decrease of £4.4 billion (8.8 per cent) since 2015. This decrease was driven by a decrease in the export of utilities (electricity), down £1.6 billion (27.4 per cent) in 2016. Other sectors with large decreases include wholesale and retail (down £855 million) and professional services (down £745 million).

Total international and rest of the UK exports in 2016 (excluding oil and gas) were estimated at £75.6 billion, down £3.9 billion (5.0 per cent) from 2015. Exports to the rest of the UK accounted for 61 per cent of this total, EU exports accounted for 17 per cent and non-EU exports accounted for 23 per cent.

The USA continues to be Scotland’s top international export destination country (£4.8 billion). Within the EU, the Netherlands (£2.1 billion) was again, the largest market, followed by France (£2.0 billion) and Germany (£1.9 billion) in 2016.


The full statistical publication is available at:

This publication presents the most recent data for exports from Scotland for 2002 to 2016, with all data revised from previous versions, to take into account new information and sources. These published estimates relate to both international and rest of the UK exports and exclude exports of oil and gas extracted from the UK continental shelf.

Answers to some of the most common questions on Scottish export statistics are available on our FAQs section of the website:

Further information on Scottish economic statistics is available at

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. More information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: