There was a huge increase of 36% in exports of Scottish salmon to the United States last year, the biggest rise ever recorded.
The total value for the export of salmon into America topped £211m in 2011, and secured the industry a 20% market share of all seafood exported to the country.
So significant is the rise, it is now Scotland’s leading export market, with Scottish Development International (SDI) stating that 25% of all salmon produced here lands on the plates of US citizens. In tonnage terms, it equates to just shy of 44,000.
It shows how important seafood exports are to the economy, particularly over the pond. However, with some reports of companies facing difficulties, such as with The Scottish Salmon Company who saw profits slump towards the end of last year, investment is still needed to maximise opportunity.
Commercial finance in Scotland is still hard to come by, though many firms are finding success with factoring their assets, freeing up funding to invest.
To strengthen the position of the industry in North America, the SDI has sent a delegation to the International Boston Seafood Show, to try and attract greater overseas interest in the product.
Speaking about the export figures, Anne MacColl, SDI’s chief executive said:
“This is hugely encouraging and it’s vital that we continue to build on our success by increasing trade relationships with influential salmon and seafood buyers across the world.”
Echoing Ms MacColl’s views, chief executive for the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation Scott Landsburgh said:
“Continuing to develop our international offering is vitally important for our sector.”