Scotch whisky and salmon exports continue to grow at record levels, new figures for 2017 have shown.
In 2017, Scotch whisky exports from the UK were valued at £4.36 billion, up 9% (£356.3 million) compared to 2016.
Salmon exports grew to £600 million in 2017, up 35% (£155.5 million) compared to 2016.
The figures also show that Europe continues to be the top export market for salmon and Scotch whisky in terms of both value and volume.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing welcomed the figures. He said:
“These figures show that demand for Scotland’s world-renowned food and drink continues not only to grow, but to soar.
“We have long been proud of our award-winning salmon and whisky sectors. Today’s outstanding figures are a result of remarkable products and of sectors working together to create a national brand with a global reputation, underpinned by the Scotland Food and Drink Export Plan.
“We will continue to do all we can to support and protect our food and drink sector, which faces growing uncertainty in the labour and export markets as a result of Brexit, which poses a direct threat to this success by removing Scotland from the world’s biggest single market, and its consumer base of almost half a billion people.
“In addition 10,000 EU nationals work in our food and drink industry, which exports more than £2 billion to Europe through the single market each year.
“While these figures are something to celebrate, it is a stark reminder of what is at stake if we are taken out of this important market.”
Scott Landsburgh, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) Chief Executive said:
“The demand for Scottish salmon continues to grow in recognition of its taste, quality and provenance and these are key drivers for growth in the USA, EU and Asian markets. This record-breaking export success is a tribute to all those who work in salmon farming and is a further reminder of the importance of salmon to the Scottish economy and food and drink sector.”
Karen Betts, CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association said:
“These encouraging figures show how popular Scotch whisky is right around the world. Already a strong export, loved for its sophistication, diversity and provenance, it’s great to see Scotch continuing to grow in established and new markets. Scotch whisky is not just a core part of Scotland’s national identity and heritage, it is also a fundamental part of our export economy.
“With more than 40,000 jobs supported by the Scotch whisky industry across the UK, 7,000 of which are in rural Scotland, it is crucial that we continue to support both the new wave of whisky entrepreneurs and established distillers who are taking Scotch to the world.”