Scotland’s exports boom to keep our trade surplus high especially with EU



Scotland continues to export more than she imports. Our trade surplus is up 6.2% to £14.2 billion while England’s deficit has risen 1.8% to £129 billion. That’s why the UK has massive debt of $21.4 trillion (!) which Scotland, it seems must share the costs of, if we separate. A country with an historical trade surplus, like Scotland, would have had no need of debt.

Note the note. Scotland’s trade surplus may be even greater if all exports that ‘cannot be allocated to a region’ were to be so.

Also, see:

‘Scotland’s good exports to the EU rose 18% to £15.7 billion in the year to September 2018, making up more than half of overall goods exports, which rose 6% to £29.6 billion. Goods brought in from the EU to Scotland also increased in the same period, up 7.5% to £9.6 billion.’

So our trade surplus with the EU alone is £6.1 billion!

See these for a fuller account:



7 thoughts on “Scotland’s exports boom to keep our trade surplus high especially with EU

  1. William Henderson December 7, 2018 / 10:31 am

    Good morning, John.

    Week in and week out I see very large oil tankers (150000 ton +) arrive empty and high in the water at the BP Hound Point terminal near the Forth bridges. In short order they are filled with offshore oil which I understand comes from the North Sea and Shetland oilfields and then leave for destinations abroad.

    The question which often comes to my mind is whether or not these oil exports are credited to Scotland? I’ve attempted to examine the data on which the charts you show are based but whether due to ineptitude on my part or unfamiliarity with this subject I haven’t been able to find an answer.

    So – May I ask if anyone in this, our great cyberspace of information, knows if Scotland actually does get credit for this valuable export which is sourced from Scottish waters and exported through an unquestionably Scottish port?


    • johnrobertson834 December 7, 2018 / 11:12 am

      In 2017-18, oil and gas fields in Scotland accounted for 96 per cent of UK crude oil and natural gas liquids (NGL) production, and 63 per cent of UK natural gas production.

      So it should be pretty much all credited to Scotland. Does this suggest they are?

      Are Scottish goods which are exported via ports from the rest of the UK counted as international Scottish exports?

      Yes. The ESS publication measures the destination of goods exported from Scotland regardless of the port from which they leave the UK.


      • gavin December 7, 2018 / 12:29 pm

        Almost 50,000 tonnes of fresh salmon for export to other countries went through Heathrow last year.
        Was it Scottish salmon?
        Was it credited to Scottish exports?
        If much of it is Scottish, why does it go so far south for export?
        What is wrong with Prestwick, which would seem to be ideal; west coast where many of the fish farms are; lots of available space round the airport; long runway for big planes?
        Even Glasgow, though its stowed out with passengers.

        Liked by 1 person

      • William Henderson December 8, 2018 / 8:57 am

        Many thanks for your guidance. It leads to a maze of information which brings to mind the operations of the court of Byzantium.

        For example:

        Click to access 00505486.pdf

        On page 6 we read:

        “There has been a strong demand for the development of statistics about Scotland’s Oil and Gas production and revenues for many years. For example, The Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisors identified it as a priority area of work for the Scottish Government as early as 2008
        In response to this recommendation analysts in the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser have developed a variety of statistics and consulted users and sector experts to develop a credible methodological approach. The production, income and expenditure statistics are one strand of this programme.”

        So the answer to my original question is ‘maybe’.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Ian MacPherson December 7, 2018 / 5:50 pm

    Hello John,
    Just a wee note to say how much I appreciate all the articles you publish, and all the stats etc you uncover. Much perused and passed on.
    Thank you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s