New figures published by HMRC show that the international appetite for Scottish salmon has continued to grow since January this year.
Overseas sales of salmon have risen by 25% to £319M and volume has also increased by 25% to 47,000 tonnes, compared to the same period in 2018.
France was the top market with sales of £109M with the USA in second place with sales of £97M. Overall, the largest trading region remains the EU with total sales of £153M. Exports to the EU account for 49% of export value and 52% of the volume. Trade with Germany and Italy increased by 50% and 72% respectively.
Julie Hesketh-Laird, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, said:
“This is an excellent start to 2019. The underlying international demand for Scottish Salmon remains strong, which is hugely encouraging and supports the reputation that our delicious and quality product achieves globally.
“While France and the USA are still the largest country markets, we are seeing growth in many mature and emerging markets around the globe from Canada to UAE which underlines sustainable, growing demand for salmon.
“This uptick in overseas exports returns Scottish salmon sales to levels we would expect to see, helping secure its reputation in world markets and safeguarding the innovation, investment and valued jobs the industry supports across Scotland. We must not take this growth for granted. It is vital that salmon farmers have the right home environment in which they can continue to meet the demand from overseas and that the UK and Scottish Governments work together to ensure that easy movement to our biggest market – Europe – remains available as the UK exits the EU.”
The top five markets for Scottish salmon between January and June 2019 were France (£109M); USA (£97M); China (£37M); Irish Republic (£14M); and Taiwan (£12M).
There was also growth in some Asian and Oceania markets including Taiwan up by 15% and Japan up by 85% although sales to China fell by 21% during the first six months of the year.
In the first six months of 2019 Scottish salmon was exported to 47 countries.