Figures from HMRC show continued growth for Scottish salmon exports in the first nine months of 2017.
Salmon sales were valued at £483m, a 56% increase in export value on the same period last year. In the past three months alone, 21,000 tonnes of fresh salmon, worth £136m, was exported. This represents a 29% rise in value and 25% rise in volume over the same period last year.
France overtook the USA as the largest market, with sales worth nearly £45m, though the USA still recorded sales of just over £37m, and China was worth £14m. East Asian markets continue to grow, with Taiwan making it into the top five markets with sales of £6.5m.
Scott Landsburgh, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) chief executive, said: “The demand for Scottish salmon continues to grow in recognition of its taste, quality and provenance. It is evident that the production standards and commitment to quality are fully recognised around the world, and no more so than in France.”
“The continuing export success of Scottish salmon is a trail-blazer for other Scottish food overseas and a major contributor to rural Scotland. Our achievement means that young people, communities and local suppliers all benefit from the economic success.”
James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink said: "These phenomenal figures show the growing demand for Scotland’s high quality, premium food and drink products across the world.
"Scotland is now home to the UK’s biggest drink export in Scotch Whisky and the biggest food export in Scottish salmon. They continue to lead the way.
"The growth in overseas markets is testament to the hard work of our trade specialists based across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Far East. They are opening doors with leading buyers and forging new opportunities for our Scottish food and drink companies. As a result, 2017 is shaping up to be another export record-breaker for food and drink.
“Over the last ten years, Scotch Whisky exports have risen over 50% and our food exports have doubled. But there still are major opportunities ahead overseas as well as in our home market.”
Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Scottish salmon is an iconic product and these latest export figures reflect the strength of the industry and the potential it has to grow further. The EU remains the biggest single regional market for Salmon, importing salmon worth £215m in the first nine months of 2017.
“We will continue to work with industry to develop new and existing markets and in line with Scotland’s Food and Drink 2030 ambition, focus on key markets, boost innovation, focus on skills and support local producers to realise our ambitious plans.”