Scottish salmon producers are enjoying record overseas sales, with new figures revealing exports of the fish reached £345 million in the second quarter of 2017 – an increase of more than 70 per cent on the same period last year.
More than 29,000 tonnes of salmon left Scotland between 1 April and 30 June, raking in around £190m in profit and completing a 22 per cent increase on the first quarter. Markets in the Far East continued to grow.
The United States remains the largest market for Scottish salmon exports.
However, Asian markets including Taiwan and Japan are now worth an estimated £9m per quarter to the industry, according to a new HMRC report.
China continues to be the largest Asian market, earning producers around £44m in the second quarter.
Figures released by the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation in June showed the industry was worth a reported £500m to the Scottish economy annually.
SSPO chief executive Scott Landsburgh said Asian markets were becoming “increasingly significant” to the industry.
He added: “The development of the Far East marketplace is a huge programme of work and the fact that annual Chinese exports are now worth around £90 million from a standing start six or seven years ago indicates that this has been worth the effort. East Asian markets are becoming increasingly significant, with Taiwan and Vietnam in the top ten importers.
“We continue to see the huge global opportunity for high quality Scottish food and for salmon, in particular. Quality and provenance are highly prized in all markets and Scottish salmon fits the bill. Its traceability from source to plate is another respected attribute in the Far East.”
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “This is good news for Scotland’s aquaculture industry, clearly demonstrating that demand is growing around the world for quality salmon. It is proof that our industry is thriving and testament to the hard work going on between government, stakeholders and industry to support sustainable growth and access to new markets.
“Particularly pleasing is the success of our work to unlock more markets in the Far East, which have been key industry target areas. However, this success simply underlines the importance of ensuring Scotland’s food and drink exports are protected from the potentially damaging consequences of Brexit.”