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Record Scottish Salmon Exports to Far East

07 January 2013

SCOTLAND, UK - Exports of Scottish salmon to the Far East are at record levels following the third consecutive year of increases, according to new official figures.

Data from HM Revenue & Customs reveals that 8,675 tonnes of salmon were exported to the fast growing emerging markets in the first ten months of 2012, which is greater than the whole of the previous year (2011).

Exports to the world’s second largest economy have now increased by 1,172 per cent in the three years since 2010.

The value of the exports (fresh, frozen and smoked products) has increased from £28 million between January and October 2011 to more than £37 million for the same period in 2012.

The new figures are revealed one month after representatives of the seafood industry attended the largest ever Scottish food and drink trade mission to Japan and China. During the visit an agreement was signed with the World Association of Chefs Societies to promote Scottish salmon and langoustines to its 10 million member chefs across 93 countries.

Scott Landsburgh, Chief Executive, Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO), said: “The total exports to the region in the first ten months of last year exceeded the total for the whole of the previous year.

“Sales have increased more than twelve-fold in three years and our market share still only represents less than one per cent of the total current opportunity in the Far East.

“In the vast region even niches of niches are huge, so the rewards for finding the right opportunities can be phenomenal.

“With a rapid growth of middle classes looking for premium and healthy products, there remains plenty of scope for further market share expansion in this rapidly growing market.”

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead said: “I’m delighted that once again exports of Scottish salmon to the Far East have increased during 2012. Our salmon is a healthy and highly sought after product, renowned for its flavour and texture, and I’m sure that its popularity can continue to grow.

“The vast majority of the Scottish salmon exported to the region is fresh salmon, underpinned by its increasing popularity for use in sushi-style foods, which further demonstrates that top chefs regard it as a premium and high quality product.”

Anne MacColl, Chief Executive, Scottish Development International, said: “Our food and drink exports are at an all-time high and these latest figures show that Scotland's world class premium quality food and drinks are increasingly in demand across the globe.

"Scottish salmon is internationally regarded as being amongst the highest quality in the world, and is rapidly becoming the product of choice in the Far East. Growth opportunities in these fast growing markets are significant. We want to encourage companies to take advantage of this, and in doing so, deliver long-term sustainable growth for Scotland’s economy.”

Further export growth to the region is to be targeted later this year, as representatives from the salmon and langoustine sectors, Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation, Scottish Quality Salmon, Scottish Development International and Scotland Food & Drink are to attend HOFEX 2013, the Far East’s leading retail and food service event in Hong Kong (7 – 10 May 2013). 31,000 visitors from 85 countries are expected to attend.

Record export levels have helped the salmon industry to record two successive record years of capital investment, with £44.4 million and £47.6 million invested in 2010 and 2011. The vast majority of the £92 million capital investments have been made in the Highlands and Islands. The total investment over the last five years is £205.5 million.

TheFishSite News Desk

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