Fresh salmon sales at record levels for the second year running
Scottish fresh salmon sales have hit record levels for the second year running according to latest official figures.
HM Revenue and Customs data shows exports rose by 22 per cent last year to 95,638 tonnes compared with 78,611 tonnes the previous year.
Seven of the top ten markets have grown in volume and fresh Scottish salmon now reaches 64 countries worldwide.
North America has taken over as the main export market for the first time, rising 35 per cent during the last year to 44,454 tonnes though sales across Europe were largely in line with the previous year at 39,979 tonnes.
Salmon sales to the Far East rose by 894 per cent last year to 6,779 tonnes and by 17 per cent to the Middle East to 1,562 tonnes.
The latest figures are revealed at the world’s largest seafood show, the European Seafood Exposition (ESE), being held this week in Brussels, which is forecast to attract more than 24,000 visitors from 80 countries.
Seventeen seafood companies are to exhibit on the 705 square metre Scottish Pavilion, which is organised by Scottish Development International (SDI) to promote the vision of Scotland as a ‘Land of Food and Drink’.
A number of other Scottish-based companies will exhibit at the show independently.
Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO), said: “Exports of fresh Scottish salmon have increased five out of the last six years and have almost doubled over the last decade.
“With both Scottish salmon exports and global demand for Atlantic salmon at an all-time high, the sector is a major player in the export-led recovery.
“We have worked with the Scottish Government to ensure the sustainable development of production over recent years and the early results are demonstrated in these encouraging figures.”
Anne MacColl, chief executive of Scottish Development International, added: "Scotland's food and drink exports are at an all-time high right now and these salmon figures are further testament to Scotland's growing international reputation as a world-leader in the manufacture of premium quality food and drink products.
"These results also highlight some important changes in the patterns of international trade in terms of which markets offer the most opportunities for Scottish companies.
“It's vital that home-grown food and drink companies broaden their horizons and take advantage of these new market developments to help realise their own growth potential.”
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead said: “Scotland produces high quality and delicious farmed salmon and these figures show that global demand for healthy salmon is continuing to grow.
"And as sales increase, companies can boost their investment and employment here in Scotland, particularly in coastal communities in the Highlands and Islands.
“The huge popularity surge from emerging markets in the Far East demonstrates the untapped opportunities for continued growth in Scottish salmon exports.
“Our salmon is rapidly becoming the product of choice in the high-end sushi and sashimi markets, underlining its premium quality and taste.”