Scottish salmon returns to Saudi Arabia after 18-month gap

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New market access secured after seafood regulations lifted.

In a press release, the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) writes that a shipment of Mowi Scotland salmon arrived in the city of Dammam, on Saturday 21st November. This has effectively re-opened the Saudi Arabian market after a lengthy hiatus due to the changes in Saudi seafood regulations in mid-2019.

Scottish Development International, Seafood Scotland and Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation have been working to overcome the trade barrier and secure new market access.

SSPO chief executive Tavish Scott welcomed the move: “This is excellent news. This year has been one of upheaval and uncertainty in the export markets due to Covid and the success in overcoming the barriers to trade in Saudi Arabia is a welcome signal for Scottish salmon exports.”

Mowi Scotland supplied their first order and believes it will add to their regular schedule of exports to the Middle East.

Mowi account manager Jamie McAldine said that Saudi Arabia is the largest market in the Middle East. “Health is high on the agenda in Saudi Arabia and the well-known health benefits of Atlantic salmon fit perfectly with this agenda. We are grateful to SDI, Seafood Scotland, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation and our full supply chain within Mowi Scotland for their support in making this market re-entry possible.”

Seafood Scotland Head of Trade Marketing for Middle East Clare MacDougall said it was “welcome news” that Scottish Salmon is again being exported to Saudi Arabia.”Across the Scottish seafood industry exporting has been challenging recently and it’s great to see the support from multiple agencies in assisting trade in this market.”

Prior to the change in seafood regulations, exports of Scottish salmon to Saudi Arabia were valued at around GBP 0.2 million per annum.