October 19, 2011
China ranks East Asia's top export market for Scottish salmon
Since the first direct exports of salmon from Scotland to China were given the go-ahead six months ago, China has reigned as East Asia's biggest export destination for Scottish salmon.
The Scottish and Chinese governments reached an agreement to allow seafood exports directly from Scotland to China in January 2011.
Since then, 2,347 tonnes of Scottish salmon consignments have been shipped there, according to HM Revenue & Customs.
"This is a huge vote of confidence in Scottish salmon and yet another boost for Scottish food exports. If this is what can be achieved in the first six months, then the sky could be the limit for exports to China," stated Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead.
The value of all salmon exports to East Asia and Southeast Asia's markets - including China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong - jumped from GBP2.1 million (US$3.3 million) between January and June 2010 to more than GBP16 million (US$25 million) on-year.
"From a standing start earlier this year China has become the fifth-largest export destination for Scottish salmon. The value of exports to the whole of the Far East region has increased eightfold in twelve months," said Scott Landsburgh, chief executive, Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO).
By opening up the Chinese market, international exports have grown by GBP12 million (US$19 million), or a surge of a whopping 600%. Scottish producers now constitute almost a quarter of the Atlantic salmon market after just six months of trading in China.
Between January and June, 3,036 tonnes of Scottish salmon, fresh, frozen and smoked products worth GBP16 million (US$25 million) were sold to East Asia and Southeast Asia.
"Today's announcement is a true reflection of Scotland's reputation as a world-leading producer of high quality seafood produce. Our strategy focuses on maximising Scotland's international trade opportunities and we will continue to work alongside industry partners, like Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation, to support ambitious Scottish companies as they access new markets," Scottish Development International chief executive, Anne MacColl, remarked.
Back in May, Scottish salmon was named the "best farmed salmon in the world" in a poll of international seafood buyers from leading retail and food service companies, according to the Scottish Government.
It is expected to be confirmed soon that Scottish salmon production soared to over 150,000 tonnes in 2010, which would be a third successive annual increase. Last year, salmon farming provided 1,813 direct jobs in Scotland - a climb of around 15% on 2009.
Scotland's top five export markets for salmon are the US, France, Poland, the Irish Republic and China.