A Scottish salmon fillet.

Scottish salmon was UK's most valuable food export in 2023

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Scottish salmon was the UK’s most valuable food export in 2023, new figures from His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) show.

Export sales of Scottish salmon increased by 0.5% to £581 million in the calendar year, equivalent to £1.6 million every day, despite restricted supply leading to export volumes falling by 11% from 72,300 tonnes to 64,000 tonnes.

UK’s most valuable food exports 2023

  • Scottish salmon: £580.6m
  • Cheddar cheese: £445.3m
  • Lamb: £439.2m
  • Sauces and seasonings: £367.6m
  • Beef: £285.9m

France was once again the biggest market, taking half – 32,010 tonnes – of Scottish salmon exports, although that volume was 26% lower than in 2022.

Exports to the United States increased by 1% to 13,204 tonnes, and exports were to China by 36% (3,941 tonnes), to Ireland by 101% (3,612 tonnes), and to Taiwan by 40% (1,091 tonnes).

Salmon (Scottish and imported) is also the most popular fish among UK shoppers, with sales running at around £1.25 billion a year.

Value and volume of Scottish salmon exports by country.
Value and volume of Scottish salmon exports by region.