Impact of coronavirus meant that exports to Asia dropped by 87 per cent, however, most of that was offset to Europe.
In a press release on Tuesday, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation has posted the latest export statistics published by HMRC.
The HMRC figures for exports in February 2020 show a drop of 2,700 tonnes compared to the same month last year. Valued at GBP 32 million, this represented a decline of 32 per cent in February 2019.
Exports to Asia accounted for the majority of the decline with volumes only just exceeding 200 tonnes in February, down by 1,360 tonnes (-87 per cent) compared with year-earlier figures. As a result, exports to Asia accounted for only around 4 per cent of total volumes and 5 per cent of value where they previously accounted for around 25 per cent of each.
However, the SSPO notes that the industry was able to offset Scottish salmon destined to Asian markets to Europe achieving a boost in market share, rising to 59 per cent and 55 per cent for volume and value respectively. Some additional value was also found in European markets – 3 per cent – despite volumes being down 10 per cent.
Head of Insights for Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation said that this was a sign that the industry had market flexibility.
“The importance of the UK domestic market continues to be reinforced,” he said. “The UK market has always been the bedrock of Scottish salmon sales and in spite of huge exports as Scotland’s and the UK’s largest food export, the home market is central to the sector’s continuing success.
“Companies have swiftly adopted safety measures to protect workers on farms and in processing. Public health and keeping the workforce safe are our absolute priorities, but the sector is also working hard to sustain a supply of fresh salmon moving to the supermarkets across the UK,” he added.