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New Record For Scottish Salmon Exports

Salmonids Economics +2 more

SCOTLAND, UK - Fresh Scottish salmon exports reached record levels in 2010, according to new figures from the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO).

This performance confirmed salmon as Scotland's largest food export. Exports increased by 20 per cent, rising to 78,611 tonnes from 65,480 tonnes the previous year, reports Scotland Food and Drink.

It is the second consecutive year that exports have risen as global demand for the healthy and sustainable protein continues to grow. The UK continues to be the most important market by some distance. Seven of the top 10 export markets grew in volume in 2010.

Scottish salmon now reaches 54 countries worldwide. Europe remains the main export market, with France its top importer (26,475 tonnes). The USA is the biggest destination in the rest of the world (31,924 tonnes).

Growing and emerging markets include Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of the SSPO, said: "Scottish farmed salmon is a top-quality, healthy and sustainable protein in high demand at home and overseas.

"Exports have increased over 650 per cent during the last 20 years. The strong performance demonstrates that the salmon farming sector is playing a key role in the export-led economic recovery."

The new figures are revealed as the sector attends the world's largest international seafood show this week (3–5 May). Held in Brussels, the European Seafood Exposition (ESE) is forecast to attract over 24,000 visitors from 140 countries.

Mr Landsburgh continued: "Attracting buyers from all corners of the world, ESE is a three-day opportunity to develop further opportunities for economic growth. With the global salmon market continuing to out-pace supply, it is good news for jobs and investment in many parts of Scotland, including remote, rural communities in the Highlands and Islands."

The strong export trade has been built solidly on Scottish provenance, the product's PGI status awarded by the European Commission and premium taste, quality and character. The most recent annual production survey (November 2011) showed the first increase in output in five years: a 12 per cent rise in production.

An agreement between the Scottish and Chinese governments allowed Scottish salmon to be exported to China, one of the world's largest seafood markets, for the first time in January 2011, reports Scotland Food and Drink. Chinese demand for all salmon products and species is already high – more than 150 per cent of total Scottish output. Demand for Atlantic salmon is expanding fast, up 42 per cent in 2009 to 8,000 tonnes.