SCOTCH whisky exports grew by 19% to reach a total value of $4.51 billion in 2021, as the end of US tariffs and reduced impacts from the pandemic saw the industry rebound.

Meanwhile, Scottish salmon exports rose to near-record levels last year as fish farmers sold more than £600 million worth of the delicacy across the globe, latest figures show.

However the value of whisky exports has not returned to pre-coronavirus levels and remains 8% lower than in 2019.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) released the latest annual export figures yesterday. Washington agreed in March to temporarily halt tariffs, which had been imposed by the Trump administration on single malts as part of the Airbus-Boeing dispute. Further talks led to the UK and US agreeing to cease any retaliatory tariffs for five years.

The SWA said growth was mainly driven by consumers in Asia and Latin America, where the value of exports was up 21% and 71% respectively. Exports to the US grew by 8% and exports to the EU also increased 8%.

SWA chief executive Mark Kent said: “The global footprint of the industry in 2021 is a clear sign that the Scotch whisky industry is on the road to recovery.

“Value and volume are both up as consumers return to bars and restaurants, people return to travel and tourism, and we all return to a degree of normality after a period of enormous uncertainty for consumers and business.

“Scotch whisky growth in global markets means more jobs and investment across Scotland and the UK supply chain.

“The industry has continued to invest in its production sites, tourist attractions and workforce to ensure that Scotch whisky remains at the heart of a dynamic international spirits market and attracts new consumers around the world.”

Kent said there is still “some road to run” before exports return to pre-pandemic levels.

Sales of salmon soared to £614m in 2021, an increase of 36% from the year before, according to official HMRC figures, cementing its place as the UK’s biggest food export.

The French were the biggest buyer, with sales up 64% to £304m, meaning half of all exports headed to dinner plates across the Channel.

Meanwhile, Americans snapped up a quarter of all sales, at £152m, last year, a rise of 45%. China was third, spending £45m on the fish, an increase of £31m.

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said the “incredibly encouraging figures demonstrate the global demand for our unrivalled farm-raised Scottish salmon and the resilience of our industry”.

However he warned “it is imperative that government enables a regulatory framework that is both transparent and efficient”.

Exports were shipped to 52 different markets last year, Salmon Scotland said, with growth across 10 of the top 20 markets.