Export boost

Salmon sales leap in defiance of Brexit warnings

Tavish Scott: important industry

Scottish salmon exports have leapt by 7% with a sharp increase in sales across the EU in a further defiance of Brexit naysayers.

New HMRC data analysed by trade body Salmon Scotland shows that for the first nine months of 2023 there was a rise of £33 million to £478m.

The EU continues to be the key destination for exports, accounting for £287m worth of the total.

France remains the single largest market for Scottish salmon, with sales of £211m, although more exports are heading to other EU hubs such as the Netherlands or direct to markets further afield.

The findings come at the end of international trade week, with the UK Government stating that Scottish salmon is “rightly renowned around the globe and is also of huge importance for many of our coastal communities”.

In the first nine months of the year, 53,000 tonnes of Scottish salmon were exported to more than 50 countries.

Exports of Scottish salmon beyond the EU increased 15% to £191m, with one-in-five salmon heading to the US (£113m – up 11%).

Sales to Asia increased by 41% and volume by 42% to £66m.

UK Government Minister for Scotland John Lamont said:  “Scottish salmon is a great British export success story and it’s fantastic to see this esteemed product going from strength to strength.

“Our biggest food export is rightly renowned around the globe and is also of huge importance for many of our coastal communities, supporting thousands of jobs all over Scotland.

“The UK Government is determined to ensure it continues to enjoy a sustainable and profitable future. As we strike new international trade deals this will create more worldwide opportunities for Scottish salmon.”

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said: “These export figures underline the vital importance of Scottish salmon to the UK economy.

“Global demand for nutritious, fresh Scottish salmon continues to rise, providing hundreds of millions of healthy, nutritious meals, and supporting thousands of well paid, long-term jobs here in Scotland.

“Potential changes to the legal protection for Scottish salmon will help to maintain the reputation for premium Scottish salmon abroad, as well as protecting against food fraud, which risks undermining the reputation Scottish salmon has for quality and provenance.”

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