Another fall for Scottish exports

Image caption, Most industries saw an increase in exports over the year with metal products performing strongly

The value of overseas sales from Scotland fell in the last three months of 2010 by 0.3%, compared to the previous quarter.

However over the year, exports grew by 1.6%.

Overseas sales of food and drink grew by 1.5% between October and December with textiles increasing by more than 6%.

The chemicals industry saw exports fall by nearly 4% and engineering companies had a 1.3% dip in overseas sales.

Comparing the figures for 2010 with those for 2009, most industries saw a pick up in overseas sales.

The statistics from the Scottish government also showed that metals and metal products experienced the strongest growth over the year of 17.2% and food and drink exports were up by more than 4%.

Of the latest quarter's figures, a spokesman for the business organisation, the CBI in Scotland said: "These figures for the fourth quarter of 2010 are disappointing but will hopefully prove to be temporary before the upward trend in export growth resumes.

"Indeed our latest industrial trends survey found Scottish industry was optimistic about export prospects for the year ahead."

He added: "However this does reinforce the need for those seeking to form the next Scottish government to prioritise policies that promote trade and business investment."

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