The value of goods exported by Scotland has risen by more than 20% driven by growth in oil and gas exports, new figures show.
HM Revenue and Customs statistics reveal that in the year to the end of June, Scotland exported around £27.1 billion in goods, a 21% increase from the previous year.
The increase was the highest of in UK nations and above the UK average of a 15% rise to £315 billion.
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The figure show between April and the end of June Scotland exported around £7.1 billion of goods, up around £5.1 billion in the same period the previous year, which had fallen from £6.1 billion between April and the end of June 2015.
Rising exports of oil and gas have propelled the increase with the value climbing since the start of 2016 and having jumped from £1.5 billion between April and the end of June 2016 to £2.4 billion in the same period this year.
Scotland’s exports to the EU have been increasing since June 2016 while exports outside of the EU have risen since that start of that year.
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Scottish Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “These figures show that Scotland’s goods exports continued to grow in this quarter, increasing by 21% to £27.1 billion. This is higher than the overall UK rate and the highest of any UK nation.
“It is particularly heartening to note that this has been largely driven by growth in the oil and gas industry, with exports up 38%, or £2.2 billion. This equates to roughly 30% of all goods exported from Scotland and is evidence that confidence is returning to the sector.
“The fact that these figures show that 47% of all Scotland’s goods are exported to the EU, reaffirms its value to Scotland as a trading partner, confirming that it remains a vital market for Scotland’s international exports.”
He criticised the UK Government for “cutting Scotland out of key decisions around Brexit and the wider economy”, citing Thursday’s Board of Trade meeting which has no representation from the Scottish Government.
He urged the UK Government to commit to staying in the EU single market and customs union warning that removing Scotland from these would cause “severe long-term economic damage”.