Food exports from Scotland passed £1bn last year according to figures from HM Revenue and Customs. Sales of salmon and potatoes were particularly strong, while nearly two thirds of food sales came from fish and shellfish, which increased by 12% in the year. Exports were helped by a fall in the value of sterling.
The USA imported nearly 32000 tonnes of fresh salmon, but whisky continued to dominate the food and drinks export trade. In whisky, the US market grew strongly at 19% to £499m.
But less traditional markets for whisky also did well, with India up 46% to £31m and Russia up 61% to £31m, after a sharp fall in whisky trade with that country’s recession.
Seed potato exports increased notably, amid 54% growth in value of fruit and vegetable exports overall. The fastest growth in food export markets was recorded in Poland (up 139% on 2009) and the United Arab Emirates (up by 114%), while Germany was up 29%, the USA up 25%, Canada up 24%, Japan up 22% and France up 15%.
France remained Scotland’s top export market in Europe, followed by Ireland and Spain.