Farmed salmon prices hit record levels this year, according to a report from Eurofish, and many analysts have started predicting a fall in prices later this year.

The industry had a fillip when the threat of bird flu encouraged more consumers to buy salmon.

Despite anti-dumping measures, threats of bans and national import sanctions, the markets for Norwegian and Chilean farmed salmon continue to grow, Eurofish says.

The export price per kg of Norwegian salmon to the EU market reached an average of NOK30.36/kg (£2.64) for January-June 2006 - a 30% rise year-0n-year. Last month, the average price shot up to NOK37.41/kg (£3.26). A stabilisation of the market at this new level would still guarantee a considerable profit to producers, although EU processors would have problems passing high raw material prices on to their customers.

Chilean exports are balloning but the EU is not a primary market yet.