GOODS exports from Scotland to the EU rose by almost one-fifth during the last financial year, according to Treasury figures.

The value of goods exported rose by a huge 18.6% – or £2.7 billion – to £17.4bn. Meanwhile, global goods exports from Scotland grew at a faster rate than those from any other UK nation or English region in the last financial year.

The Scottish figure rose by 12.9% – or £3.8bn – to a record £32.8bn. England had a growth figure of just 3%, while the increases for Northern Ireland and Wales were 7.5% and 4.4%.

Total UK exports to the EU increased by only 4.4%.

Scotland’s Trade Minister, Ivan McKee, said of the statistics for Europe: “These latest figures demonstrate the significance of the EU to Scotland’s international exports. They highlight the importance of the single market and customs union, which is eight times bigger in population terms than the UK market alone.”

The surge in Scottish goods exports was largely driven by mineral fuels, which increased in value by 36.3% to £12.5bn, with beverages, including whisky, up 7% to £4.4bn.