SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Herald] by Iain Smith August 15, 2017

Scottish salmon exports have skyrocketed following a spike in popularity across Far East Asia.

Interest from Japan and Taiwan has helped drive sales, with figures showing a record £346 million-worth of salmon exported in the first half of 2017.

The numbers represent a 70 per cent increase in export value when compared to the same period last year.

While the US remains the single largest market, China is responsible for around £44m so far this year.

Indeed, experts are encouraged by the sales growth across Asia with Taiwan and Japan accounting for £9m worth of exports in just a three-month period.

Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO), said the Far East is on course to become a major export market behind the US.

He said: “The development of the Far East marketplace is a huge programme of work and the fact that annual Chinese exports are now worth around £90m from a standing start six or seven years ago indicates that this has been worth the effort.

“East Asian markets are becoming increasingly significant, with Taiwan and Vietnam in the top 10 importers.

“We continue to see the huge global opportunity for high quality Scottish food and for salmon in particular.

“Quality and provenance are highly prized in all markets and Scottish salmon fits the bill. Its traceability from source to plate is another respected attribute in the Far East.”

Mr Landsburgh acknowledged the support that the sector has received from the Scottish Government and Scotland Food and Drink for committing resources to the export strategy for food and drink.

James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink, noted that many of Scotland’s exports are also on the rise, with the popularity of whisky continuing to dominate.

He said: “This is a phenomenal set of salmon export results and demonstrates the growing global demand for world-class Scottish products.

“As consumers overseas look for high quality products with a strong story behind them, few countries are as well placed to succeed in the coming years as Scotland.”