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Exports boost for Scottish produce

The value of Scotch whisky exports has increased by 87 per cent over the last decade, according to the latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The latest overseas trade statistics from HMRC show that exports of the Scottish national drink were worth £4.3 billion in 2012, compared with £2.3 billion in 2002.

The volume of exports has also increased significantly, with 32 per cent more Scotch whisky going overseas over the same period. France is the largest market by volume but the United States is the most lucrative in terms of value, with £757,985,401 worth of Scotch whiskey exported there in 2012.

Scotland's Food and Drink Minister, Richard Lochhead, said:

"Scotch Whisky is one of our most iconic products and these figures demonstrate the huge global demand for whisky. I've made growing the food and drink industry one of my main priorities since coming to office and I'm particularly pleased that these results show a 51 per cent rise in the value of exports since 2007."

In other trade news, Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has praised a new trade agreement that allows UK beef exports into Singapore as "great news" for the Scotch beef industry.

With an estimated worth of £10 million per year, the deal will allow Scottish beef producers to export cuts of beef from cattle aged under 30 months to Singapore.

Mr Carmichael said:

"Singapore is already one of Scotland's largest markets outside of Europe, our businesses benefit from the UK's extensive diplomatic, consular and trade networks across Southeast Asia. Combined with the free trade agreement reached last year between the EU and Singapore, Scotland's beef producers will be in prime position to capitalise on this lucrative market."