The figures show that between 2010 and 2014 international exports increased by £4.0bn (17.3%), increasing from £23.4bn in 2010 to £27.5bn in 2014.
Exports have continued to increase in businesses classed in the service sector (up 0.6%) and the ‘other’ sector (up 16.2%). Manufacturing business exports, which account for more than half of all exports, declined in the last year by 8.7%.
In 2014, the largest exporting industry is manufacture of food products and beverages accounting for £4.8bn, 17.3% of all exports. The second largest industry is Legal, accounting, management, architecture, engineering, technical testing and analysis activities at £2.3bn, 8.5% of all exports, followed by the manufacture of refined petroleum and chemical products at £2.1bn, 7.8% of all exports, Mining and Quarrying – £1.9bn, 6.9% of all exports, and Wholesale and retail trade – £1.8bn, 6.5% of all exports.
Together the top five industry sectors account for around 47 per cent of total international exports from Scotland.
The figures show that the total nominal value of Scotland’s International Exports (excluding Oil and Gas) decreased in the last year, falling by £920m (3.2%) from £28.4bn in 2013 to £27.5bn in 2014.
Mr Swinney said:
“These figures show total export sales in 2014 from Scotland increased over the year, by £570m to £76bn.
“There was a positive increase in sales to the rest of the UK in 2014, up by £1.5bn to £48.5bn. Exports to North America grew by 2.8 per cent. The value of exports to the USA, the number one country for Scottish exports, grew to £4bn as a result of growth in the US economy stimulating demand for Scottish imports.
“It is, however, a mixed picture. There was a fall in exports to Europe in 2014, with both a weak pace of recovery across the EU and the relatively strong value of sterling combining to make it more challenging for Scottish firms. The EU is still our largest international export region, with exports of £11.6bn from Scotland in 2014, 42 per cent of all our international export sales.
“Manufacture of food and drink continues to be our top export sector, accounting for £4.8bn of exports. Excluding whisky, exports from the manufacture of food and drink sector increased by eight per cent to £815m in 2014.
“International exports from Scotland have now increased by 17.3 per cent since 2010, more than the 15.9 per cent increase for the UK as a whole.
“The Scottish Government and its enterprise agencies are supporting more companies than ever with their export ambitions, with SDI helping over 2,500 companies to develop skills to internationalise, access new markets or increase international revenues.
“Separate figures published last year also estimate the number of exporting businesses in Scotland has increased every year since 2011, to around 11,100 businesses.
“Our new Trade and Investment Strategy, which will be published shortly, will set out a clear approach to boosting exports further, increasing the number of exporting companies and attracting new investment to Scotland.”