Salmon makes up more than half of Scotland’s fish and seafood exports


Salmon accounted for 56% of Scotland’s total fish and seafood exports by value last year, according to the latest figures released by HM Revenue & Customs today.

The HMRC statistics on national and regional trade also show that fresh and chilled Scottish salmon made up 33% of the UK-wide fish and seafood total.

With smoked and processed salmon included, that figure rises to 41% – or £705m.
Scottish exports of all fish and seafood were valued at £1.04bn in 2022, which is 2% higher than 2021.

Fresh, whole Scottish salmon export sales of £578m were down 6%, however, compared with the 2021 figure of £614m.

The EU accounted for almost 64% of sales, with the US and Chinese markets remaining popular.

The volume of fish transported overseas fell by 26%, reflecting tight supplies globally and more Scottish salmon being sold in the UK domestic market – which is valued at around £1.2bn annually.

Scottish salmon is the UK’s biggest single food export, outperforming bakery goods, chocolate, cheese, cereals and lamb.

In total, Scotland’s food and drink exports were valued at £8.1bn in 2022, up by 30.6% compared with the previous 12 months.

Food exports reached £1.9bn, up 12.8% on 2021.

Mairi Gougeon

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “This is testament to the quality, innovation and skill shown by everyone working in the industry across the length and breadth of Scotland… The food and drink industry is vital to Scotland. It creates jobs, wealth and helps attract people to the country by promoting our produce around the globe.

“The Scottish Government has long supported the sector – particularly through the various challenges of the last few years caused by Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic, the ongoing war in Ukraine and rising inflation. We have worked with industry to strengthen and unlock markets across the globe for Scottish producers through the Scotland Food & Drink Export Plan.

“These figures show the results of that successful collaboration.”

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, commented: “Despite a series of economic challenges last year, Scottish salmon farmers continued to meet international demand for the UK’s most popular food export.

“This is a phenomenal success story that we can all be very proud of, supporting thousands of jobs in remote areas of the country and contributing hundreds of millions of pounds towards public services.

“Scottish salmon is rightly recognised as the best in the world, and is one of the most nutritious products we can eat.

“With further responsible and sustainable growth, and with the support of both the Scottish and UK governments, we can continue to build on this success.”

Tavish Scott


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