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Scottish salmon is back in Saudi Arabia after an 18-month gap. Photo: SSPO.
Scottish salmon is back in Saudi Arabia after an 18-month gap. Photo: SSPO.

The first shipment of Scottish salmon to Saudi Arabia in 18 months could open new market opportunities, the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO) said today. 

A shipment of Mowi Scotland salmon arrived in Dammam last Saturday, effectively re-opening the Saudi Arabian market after a lengthy hiatus due to the changes in Saudi seafood regulations in mid-2019, the SSPO said in a press release. 

Scottish Development International (SDI), Seafood Scotland and the SSPO have been working to overcome the trade barrier and secure new market access.

Tavish Scott: Welcome news in year of upheaval.
Tavish Scott: Welcome news in year of upheaval.

Welcome signal

SSPO chief executive Tavish Scott said: “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 its first order and believes it will add to its regular schedule of exports to the Middle East. 

Jamie McAldine, account manager with Mowi, said: “Saudi Arabia is the largest market in the Middle East and it is great to be able to meet the demand for our high quality Scottish salmon. 

“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, the SSPO and our full supply chain within Mowi Scotland for their support in making this market re-entry possible.”

£200,000 market

Clare MacDougall, head of trade marketing for Middle East at Seafood Scotland said: “It’s 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 £200,000 per annum.