SCOTTISH farmed salmon exports reached a record high of £600 million last year, 35 per cent up on the previous year’s total.
New figures released by HMRC yesterday also showed that export tonnage of salmon had increased in 2017, by 26 per cent.
The US remains the largest market for Scottish salmon with sales worth £193 million, followed by France (£188 million), China (£69 million) and the Republic of Ireland (£34 million).
Taiwan secured its place in the top five markets with sales worth £16 million, above Germany, Poland, Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands, which make up the top ten export destinations.
Scott Landsburgh (pictured), Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) chief executive, said: ‘The demand for Scottish salmon continues to grow in recognition of its taste, quality and provenance and these are key drivers for growth in the USA, EU and Asian markets.
‘This record breaking export success of Scottish salmon is a trail blazer for other Scottish food overseas and a further reminder of the importance of salmon to the Scottish economy and food and drink sector.
‘Our achievement means that young people, communities and local suppliers also benefit from the economic success.’
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing welcomed the figures, saying: ‘These figures show that demand for Scotland’s world renowned food and drink continues not only to grow, but to soar.
‘Today’s outstanding figures are a result of remarkable products and of sectors working together to create a national brand with a global reputation, underpinned by the Scotland Food and Drink Export Plan.’
He added that the government would do all it could to ‘support and protect’ Scotland’s food and drink sector in the face of threats, such as Brexit.
Scotland’s whisky exports also hit a new record last year, with overseas sales of £4.36 billion, a growth in value of 8.9 per cent and in volume of 1.6 per cent.