EXPORTS of Scottish salmon to Asian nations have more than doubled, according to new figures from the UK Government.

The European market remains the dominant destination for exports of Scots salmon, with more than half of sales going to the continent.

But new data from HM Revenue & Customs shows that North America and Asia accounted for nearly half (47%) of all sales in the first three months of this year, driven by strong demand from China, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea.

The value of exports to the region has soared to £24 million, reflecting a 97% increase in the volume of fish transported against the same period in 2022.

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Salmon Scotland said the figures show that farm-raised salmon “generates vital income for the country”.

The trade body said farm-raised salmon directly employs 2500 people in Scotland and a further 10,000 jobs are dependent on the sector.

Fresh, whole Scottish salmon export sales between January and March reached £134 million, an 18% increase from the same period in 2022.

The EU remained the dominant market, with over half of the sales, followed by North America (29 per cent) and Asia (18 per cent).

Salmon Scotland said there were further opportunities for growth in North America and Asia due to rising consumer demand and ongoing efforts to reduce trade barriers.

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said: “This demonstrates the extraordinary global success story of Scottish salmon which we can all be immensely proud of, and we are all benefitting from through thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of pounds for the economy.

“The increasing demand for Scottish salmon in Asia is a clear testament to its outstanding quality and taste.

“We are delighted that our farm-raised salmon is recognised as the world's best and in high demand internationally.

“The remarkable growth of the Asian market, along with other regions, underscores the immense potential and opportunities for Scottish salmon.”

Tory Scotland Office minister Malcolm Offord said: “The high-quality salmon that we have here in Scotland is already popular across the globe, and these figures show that this demand is growing.

“It’s important that we make the most of the opportunities in markets such as Asia, and maximise the potential for Scottish salmon.

“That’s why the UK Government is working tirelessly to reduce trade barriers internationally so that these export figures can continue to grow.”