CUSTOMERS in China are continuing to develop a taste for Scottish salmon after official data showed exports to the Far East have hit a record.
More fish was sent to Asia in the first ten months of last year than in the whole of 2011, according to figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
The HMRC figures, analysed by the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO), showed that fresh, frozen and smoked salmon exports to the Far East hit £37 million between January and October. Sales to China alone have grown by 1,172 per cent during the past three years.
News of the rise in sales comes just two years after the Chinese and Scottish governments signed a deal allowing for the direct export of Scottish seafoods into China.
Scott Landsburgh, SSPO chief executive, said: “Our market share still only represents less than 1 per cent of the total current opportunity in the Far East.
“In that vast region, even niches of niches are huge, so the rewards for finding the right opportunities can be phenomenal.
“With a rapid growth of middle classes looking for premium and healthy products, there remains plenty of scope for further market share expansion.”
The SSPO expects 2013’s figures to eclipse those for 2012 after a deal was signed last month during a trade mission to China and Japan, under which the World Association of Chefs Societies will promote Scottish salmon and langoustines to its ten million chef members in 93 countries.