Virus impacting Scotland's salmon exports as air cargo supply shrinks
THE controls that have been imposed in various markets to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus have made it difficult for some of Scotland's salmon exporters to get products to customers, reports the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) has said
19 March 2020 - 19:00
US President Donald Trump extended a European travel ban to include the United Kingdom and Ireland. Cargo remains exempt from the ban, but the number of transatlantic flights has dropped as a result, significantly reducing bellyhold cargo capacity from the market, according to London's Air Cargo News.
In a statement commenting on the impact of coronavirus on the farmed salmon sector, SSPO's Hamish Macdonell said it is determined see the crisis eases as quickly as possible.
As the United Kingdom's most valuable food export, Scottish salmon is prominent in a number of key markets which are now facing restrictions of various sorts because of the coronavirus outbreak, Macdonell said.
'This has led to problems in getting salmon to our customers in different parts of the world, problems which are likely to get worse before they get better,' he said. 'As a result, we are working with the Scottish and UK governments and environmental regulators to keep fish in the water for longer, where this is appropriate, and looking at other measures to give our members more flexibility in dealing with these market disruptions.'
Mr Macdonell said that so far, working through these measures had been 'relatively straightforward' as the preparatory work was done ahead of a possible no-deal Brexit last year, when similar market problems were anticipated.
'It is worth noting, however, that the UK market for salmon remains strong at the moment as customers stock up in the face of further restrictions at home and some of our member companies are looking actively at market substitution as a way of coping with the ongoing drop off in demand from other parts of the world,' he said. 'We will continue to monitor the situation very closely and work with the authorities to do all we can to minimise the disruption caused by this worldwide crisis.'
In 2019, UK exports of Scottish salmon amounted to 94,000 tonnes worth a record GBP618 million (US$778.2 million). France, the United States, and China provided the sector's top three markets with sales worth GBP221 million million, GBP 179 million and GBP59 million respectively.
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