Page last updated at 12:27 GMT, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Scots export market suffers drop

Whisky - generic
Drink, food and tobacco exports rose, despite the quarterly fall

Scotland's manufactured exports suffered a 1% drop in the third quarter of last year, according to new official figures.

The fall followed a standstill in the previous four months. There has been a 0.4% decrease over this year so far.

Business group CBI Scotland expressed frustration that export volumes had not been stronger, despite a drop in the value of sterling.

The export picture also varied between different industries.

Food, drink, and tobacco saw a 7% quarterly rise while chemicals, coke, refined petrol and nuclear fuel went up 9%.

In contrast, engineering fell by 6.2% and wood, paper, publishing and printing fell by 3%.

CBI Scotland assistant director David Lonsdale said: "The competitiveness of Scots firms has received a fillip but many of our key export markets have stalled or are contracting which limits their appetite to buy from us."

Finance Secretary John Swinney said the figures showed an increase with the third quarter of 2007, despite the fall.

"What these statistics underline is the importance of the Scottish Government's budget and economic recovery plan - focused on supporting jobs and businesses in Scotland," he said.

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