'This was undoubtedly a fantastic quarter for the UK's food and drink exporters with year-on-year growth in six of the UK's top export markets exceeding 20 per cent.
'Scottish food and drink manufacturers were among the biggest beneficiaries with a 41 per cent rise in the value of salmon sales and a 19 per cent rise in whisky.
'UK gin producers also did well with a 30 per cent rise in sales, while UK beer and wine makers both recorded an impressive 20 per cent uplift.
'While these results are testament to the phenomenal success of the UK food and drink sector, they also have to be viewed within the context of the UK's supposed exit from the EU at the end of March. This will have encouraged overseas buyers to bring forward orders in an attempt to mitigate the risks of supply chain disruption and potential tariff increases.
'As we saw in the latest purchasing managers' manufacturing index released earlier this week, optimism among manufacturers dropped rapidly last month amid concerns that overseas supply chains are diverting away from UK manufacturers. These concerns appear to have been echoed by overseas food importers.
'Clearly, food and drink manufacturers urgently want clarity over the UK's future trading relationships so that the momentum in food and drink exports can be sustained. Unfortunately, it looks as if they may have to wait a little while longer.'