Publication - Factsheet

About Export Statistics Scotland

Published: 2 Oct 2019
Directorate:
Chief Economist Directorate
Part of:
Economy

Information on export statistics produced by the Scottish Government.

Contents
About Export Statistics Scotland
Methodology

Overview

Export Statistics Scotland (ESS) brings together various sources of survey and administrative data to produce estimates of the (nominal) value of Scottish international and rest of UK exports by industry and export destination region/country. 

Global Connections Survey

Scotland's Global Connections Survey (GCS) is an annual sample survey that the Scottish Government sends to a representative sample of companies with operations in Scotland to collect export data for the previous year. The companies are selected using stratified random sampling from The Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR).

The GCS informs much of the estimates of international exports published in ESS and is the primary source for estimates of exports from Scotland to the rest of the UK.

Estimating Scottish exports to the rest of the UK

Estimates of Scottish exports to the rest of the UK are available within the publication. As companies are not legally required to report their accounts below UK level, their accounting practices do not allow accurate reporting below UK level. There is also the issue of products being shipped across UK to complete production adding value at various stages. Therefore, the estimates of rest of UK exports should be interpreted with due care.

Articles discussing these (and other) issues in more detail were published in previous Scottish Economic Statistics publications, Scottish Economic Statistics 2005 and Scottish Economic Statistics 2007.

Sample Data

The data collected in the Global Connections Survey (GCS) was supplemented by information from the ONS UK Monthly Business Survey (Production and Services), the ONS Monthly Business Survey Retail Sales Inquiry, the ONS Annual International Trade in Services and the ONS Annual Business Survey. Partial information was also obtained directly from some major companies that did not return forms.

Population

The population data set is based on The Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR). The survey data is grossed up to IDBR data based on company turnover. This has been done at reporting unit level, i.e. based on the sum of activity of all Scottish local units. Companies have been classified to an industry based on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) of the local unit with the most employees. With the exception of 'Distilling, rectifying and blending of spirits' [SIC (2007) 11.01] and 'Marine fishing' [SIC (2007) 3.11] (for which alternative data sources are used - see below) export estimates are constrained to IDBR turnover.

Grossing Procedures

Firstly, total exports for each company are estimated using a process of iterative stratification based on combinations of the following factors:

  • employment size-band,
  • SIC,
  • enterprise region and
  • export status (as used in sampling frame).

Initially companies are classified at the most detailed level of each of these factors. For any group containing 10 or more companies in the sample, the ratio of exports to turnover is calculated and applied to companies in the population with the same properties.

The process then involves collapsing categories (firstly employment is collapsed from 6 bands into 5, then at the next iteration SIC codes are collapsed from 5-digit to 4-digit); and at each stage the proportions of goods and services exported for each company in the population based is estimated on the sample data for companies in that particular group. At the final stage, all remaining companies are classified by 2-digit SIC codes.

Categories used at each iteration

 

Iteration

Employment size-bands

SIC

Enterprise region

Export status (see note)

1

0-9, 10-19, 20-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+

5-digit

Local Enterpise Company

0, 1

2

0-9, 10-19, 20-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+

5-digit

Highlands and Islands/Scottish Enterprise

0, 1

3

0-9, 10-19, 20-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+

5-digit

All

0, 1

4

0-9, 10-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+

5-digit

Local Enterpise Company

0, 1

5

0-9, 10-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+

5-digit

Highlands and Islands/Scottish Enterprise

0, 1

6

0-9, 10-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+

5-digit

All

0, 1

7

0-9, 10-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+

4-digit

Local Enterpise Company

0, 1

8

0-9, 10-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+

4-digit

Highlands and Islands/Scottish Enterprise

0, 1

9

0-9, 10-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+

4-digit

All

0, 1

10

0-9, 10-49, 50-149, 150+

4-digit

Local Enterpise Company

0, 1

11

0-9, 10-49, 50-149, 150+

4-digit

Highlands and Islands/Scottish Enterprise

0, 1

12

0-9, 10-49, 50-149, 150+

4-digit

All

0, 1

13

0-9, 10-49, 50-149, 150+

3-digit

Local Enterpise Company

0, 1

14

0-9, 10-49, 50-149, 150+

3-digit

Highlands and Islands/Scottish Enterprise

0, 1

15

0-9, 10-49, 50-149, 150+

3-digit

All

0, 1

16

0-49, 50-149, 150+

3-digit

Local Enterpise Company

0, 1

17

0-49, 50-149, 150+

3-digit

Highlands and Islands/Scottish Enterprise

0, 1

18

0-49, 50-149, 150+

3-digit

All

0, 1

19

0-49, 50+

3-digit

Local Enterpise Company

0, 1

20

0-49, 50+

3-digit

Highlands and Islands/Scottish Enterprise

0, 1

21

0-49, 50+

3-digit

All

0, 1

22

0-49, 50+

2-digit

Local Enterpise Company

0, 1

23

0-49, 50+

2-digit

Highlands and Islands/Scottish Enterprise

0, 1

24

0-49, 50+

2-digit

All

0, 1

25

All

2-digit

All

All

Note: in the table above, an export status of 0 indicates that the company is a non-exporter or their export status is unknown. An export status of 1 indicates that the company is a known or potential exporter.

A similar process is then followed to split total exports into EU/non-EU exports. The proportion of total exports to each area for each company is estimated and applied to total exports. This procedure is based only on employment size-band and SIC for only exporting companies and takes nine iterations.

Sample proportions are then applied to the estimated EU total to estimate amounts for individual countries. This analysis is stratified by industry and employment - firstly 5-digit SIC and small/large companies, going down to 2-digit SIC only. The non-EU totals are firstly split into regional totals using a similar methodology, before these are apportioned to country of destination based on the sample data.

Sampling methodology used for the Global Connections Survey

The survey sample is extracted from The Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) and includes all industries with the exception of public administration, private households with employed persons and extra-territorial organisations. Sampling takes place at reporting unit level and reporting units are asked to provide information on the combined Scottish activity of all their local units.

The sample is stratified by area (Highlands & Islands/Scottish Enterprise area), industry (4-digit SIC), export status and 5 employment size-bands (Scottish employment). Export status is determined using information provided by Highlands & Islands Enterprise, participating Local Enterprise Companies and previous survey data. Known and potential exporters are weighted in order to have a greater chance of being sampled than non-exporters or companies whose export status is unknown; companies with 100 or more employees are automatically sampled regardless of their export status.

Percentage (%) of records selected (at random) from each strata by export status and employment size-band

 

Number of employees Export status
Non-exporter/unknown Known/potential exporter
0-9

0.1

100
10-49 10 100
50-99 30 100
100-249 100 100
250+ 100 100

Further adjustments are then made to the resulting sample to reduce the overall size of the sample. 

Adjustments

Whisky [SIC (2007) 11.01]

Information on international whisky exports (nominal value and export destination region/country) is taken from HMRC Overseas Trade Statistics.

Fishing [SIC (2007) 3.11]

Information on international and rest of UK fishing (direct lands of fish abroad) exports is provided by Marine Scotland's Marine Analytical Unit.

Higher Education [SIC (2007) 85.4]

Estimates of turnover and international/rest of UK higher education exports are sourced from Higher Education Institution annual reports. Student numbers by Higher Education Institute and domicile for the academic years 2008/09 to 2013/14 are provided by the Higher Education Statistics Authority. This data is used to determine the proportions of international exports to the EU and the rest of the World.

Banking [SIC (2007) 64.191]

For 2011 to 2014 the information is based on a Scottish Government collection of total sales and sales to non-UK resident customers for the four largest organisations in this sector.

Information on exports for the banking sector prior to 2011 were based on export sales information provided by The Committee of Scottish Clearing Bankers (CSCB), now The Committee of Scottish Bankers.  The Committee of Scottish Clearing Bankers also provided a split of international and rest of UK sales.

Energy [SIC (2007) 35]

Information on rest of UK energy export proportions is obtained from the Department of Energy & Climate Change.

Revisions

Estimates for previous years are revised from those published in the previous year and are largely due to new information being provided by companies. The most recent results are provisional, and may be revised in the future if improved information becomes available.

Further Information

For more background on the issues involved in estimating exports figures for Scotland, please see this article from the 2005 Scottish economic statistics publication.


Contact

If you have any enquiries relating to these statistics then please contact us at:

Email: exports.statistics@gov.scot

Telephone: 0141 278 4466

Post:
Trade Statistics
5th Floor Atlantic Quay 5
150 Broomielaw
Glasgow
G2 8LU