Multimillion-pound boom in salmon and whisky exports
The value of Scotch whisky and Scottish salmon exports grew by more than £500 million last year, new figures show.
Official HMRC statistics valued Scotch whisky exports from the UK at £4.3 billion in 2017, up 9% (£356.3 million) on the previous year.
This is equivalent to more than 1.2 billion bottles of the spirit being sent overseas.
Exports of single malt grew by 14.2% in 2017 to £1.1 billion.
The value of salmon exports went up 35% (£155.5 million) in the same period, reaching £600 million.
Europe was the top export market for both of the renowned Scottish products on both value and volume.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: "These figures show that demand for Scotland's world-renowned food and drink continues not only to grow, but to soar."
He said Scottish food and drink exports face "growing uncertainty" due to Brexit and plans to remove the UK from the European single market.
"While these figures are something to celebrate, it is a stark reminder of what is at stake if we are taken out of this important market," he said.
Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: "These encouraging figures show how popular Scotch whisky is right around the world."
She added: "Scotch whisky is not just a core part of Scotland's national identity and heritage, it is also a fundamental part of our export economy."
She said it was "vital" the UK Government secures transition arrangements to allow continuing frictionless trade with European markets.
"Longer term, we are urging the UK government to secure as smooth trade conditions as possible with Europe, alongside pursuing ambitious free trade deals with key markets around the world, tackling barriers to trade, and bolstering the legal protection of Scotch Whisky," she added.
Scott Landsburgh, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation chief executive said: "This record-breaking export success is a tribute to all those who work in salmon farming and is a further reminder of the importance of salmon to the Scottish economy and food and drink sector."