Scottish salmon exports to Asia more than doubled in value to £24 million (€28 million/$30 million) in the first quarter, driven by strong demand from China, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea.

Sales to North America (29 percent) and Asia (18 percent) now equate to more than 47 percent of total international sales of Scottish salmon, according to the latest UK government trading figures.

The total value of exports to Asia increased by £12 million (€14 million/$15 million), while volume increased 97 percent.

China and Taiwan individually added a combined £12 million (€14 million/$15 million) market value growth during the period.

Singapore and South Korea also performed well, contributing significantly to the 1,900 metric tons of fish exported to Asia.

Scottish salmon producers trade body Salmon Scotland said there were further opportunities for growth in North America and Asia because of rising consumer demand and ongoing efforts to reduce trade barriers.

Total Scottish salmon export sales between January and March reached £134 million (€154 million/$166 million), an 18 percent increase from the same period in 2022.

Norway seeing rise in Asia too

The figures follows news last week that the value of Norwegian seafood exports to China hit a record high in the first quarter.

More than 40,000 metric tons of salmon, cod and other seafood were shipped in April – an increase of 18 percent year-on-year – making Beijing the third-largest market for Norway's fish.

The salmon farming industry employs 2,500 people in Scotland and a further 10,000 jobs are dependent on the sector.

Farmed salmon was the UK's biggest food export in 2022, with sales of £578 million (€660 million/$715 million), according to figures compiled by the British government.

In April, the UK agreed to join the trade bloc Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

CPTPP is made up of 11 countries in the Asia Pacific and Americas regions, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Entry will eliminate most tariffs on UK fish and seafood exports as well as simplify rule of origins regulations, and is expected to create further opportunities in key east Asia markets.

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