Salmon farmers in Scotland saw their production go up by 3.8% year on year for the third quarter of 2021, to 60,600 tonnes. The industry expects to produce a total of 217,000 tonnes this year, up 4.5% for 2020.
The figures come from Salmon Scotland’s Economic Quarterly report for Q3, 2021. The report also shows that salmon exports from Scotland fell to £182m in Q3, from a record level in Q2 of this year of £202m, reflecting some month by month volatility.
Farm gate prices (as shown in the NASDAQ Salmon Index, which records prices for Norwegian salmon) rallied in Q3 after a seasonal decline at the start of the quarter, but remain some way below the high level seen at the end of 2019.
For the first time, the Economic Quarterly provides a regional breakdown for salmon production in Scotland. In descending order this breaks down as (with percentages rounded):
- North Coast and West Highlands 15,900 tonnes (26%);
- Argyll and Clyde 14,000 tonnes (23%);
- Shetland 12,400 tonnes (20%);
- Outer Hebrides 11,700 tonnes (19%); and
- Orkney 6,700 tonnes (11%).
Farmed salmon contributes more than £640m to the Scottish economy, the report says, with a total turnover of more than £1bn at the farm gate and more than £370m spent with suppliers in Scotland. The salmon farming sector employs 2,500 people directly.
Salmon Scotland Chief Executive Tavish Scott said he was optimistic about the future, adding: “As more businesses return to full capacity, the outlook for domestic consumption in the restaurant and hospitality sector should remain positive.
“This is because consumers will take the opportunity to eat out more often while at the same time cooking and enjoying salmon in their own homes.”
“The sector is proving just how robust and agile it is in challenging market conditions. This is clearly very good news for Scotland’s rural and island communities and all who live and work in them.”