THE value of Scottish salmon exports to its largest market is expected to be more than £200 million for the first time this year.

Figures from the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO) found the value of farmed salmon to the US reached £198.5m in 2013.

That was well above the previous high of £178m reached in 2011 and the £154.9m recorded in 2012.

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Now the industry is forecasting further growth in 2014. Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of SSPO, believes the quality of the produce and Scottish provenance are key factors behind the growth in the US market.

He said: "These impressive figures are the result of the fantastic reputation our salmon enjoys in the US.

"Major retail chains and high end restaurants are delighted with the salmon we supply from Scotland."

New York, Miami, Boston and Los Angeles were said to be among the largest city markets for Scottish salmon.

A number of salmon producers are flying out to Boston to attend the Seafood Expo trade show, which starts on Sunday and attracts around 19,000 visitors. Among them is Jim Gallagher, managing director of Scottish Sea Farms, who said the latest industry performance provided a good platform for further growth. He said: "It should just be the start as we plan to invest in long term sustainable production to supply the demand for salmon and this will mean more jobs on the farms and in the food processing industry of Scotland."

James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink, said: "This is a large boost to the overall status of the Scottish food economy."