Salmon exports to EU at record £100m in Q1

Scotland’s salmon farming industry exported a record amount of fresh fish to the European Union in the first quarter of 2021 despite post-Brexit disruptions, according to the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO).

However, salmon producers are spending an additional £200,000 a month on extra paperwork because of Brexit.

And post-Brexit, it now takes an extra two hours for each seafood load to be processed and given an export health certificate for transport to the EU.

In some cases this process is taking four hours or longer.

“Demand for Scottish salmon by European customers remained strong despite significant post-Brexit disruptions to supply in early January,” said the SSPO.

“Figures compiled by the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) from information supplied by all of Scotland’s salmon producers and released today (Friday 14th May) reveal that 19,410 tonnes of Scottish salmon, worth more than £100 million, were exported to the EU in Q1 of this year.

“That is an increase of over 8,200 tonnes (+74 per cent) compared to the same period in 2020.

“Intense competition in the marketplace however means that while volumes are up, values did not increase at a corresponding rate.”

SSPO CEO Tavish Scott said that additional bureaucracy, paperwork, delays and confusion arising from Brexit have left salmon farmers incurring costs of at least £11 million but that he remains confident that 2021 will be a strong year for the sector.

Scott said: “This is a great result for the Scottish salmon farmers and the Scottish economy.

“As the country and companies start to bounce back from the huge problems presented by Covid these figures show the worth of the salmon sector as an economic driver for Scotland, aiding the country’s renewal through job creation and tax revenues …

“Salmon farmers remain vulnerable to the problems caused by Brexit.

“Export volumes to the EU may well be up for the first quarter of the year but increased delays in getting products to our EU markets have kept values low.

“The SSPO will continue to work with the UK and Scottish governments to find ways to streamline red tape and ensure our members can offer their customers the certainty of getting fresh, nutritious fish to EU markets on time.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.