Exported goods from Scotland to the European Union have increased in value by 18.6% in the last financial year, according to Treasury figures.
New HMRC data shows Scottish exports grew at a quicker rate than any other UK nation or English region, with a total increase of 12.9% – £3.8 billion.
Total Scottish exports now account for a record-high £32.8 billion, with more businesses exporting goods than ever before.
In the first quarter of 2019, 4,950 Scottish businesses exported abroad, 229 more than the same period in the previous year.
The increase in the value of goods sold to the EU – £2.7 billion of the new £17.4 billion total – shows “the importance of having free trade” according to Trade Minister Ivan McKee.
Mr McKee said: “These latest figures demonstrate the significance of the EU to Scotland’s international exports, highlighting 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 £12.5 billion, with beverages including whiskey increasing by 7% to £4.4 billion.
UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox said: “I am delighted that goods exports from Scotland have boasted particularly impressive growth rates over the past financial year, which is a consequence of the outstanding quality of produce and resilience of businesses across the region.
“When local businesses trade internationally, they provide profound economic benefits to the local economy, including more jobs and cheaper goods.
“By diversifying their markets globally, businesses of all sizes can benefit from increased competitiveness, which encourages greater innovation and prosperity.
“I encourage businesses throughout Scotland to use today’s statistics as evidence that despite the global headwinds getting stronger, the world demands British goods at unprecedented levels.”