Salmon prices are likely to come under upward pressure with EU measures now taking effect that aim to safeguard the Scottish salmon farming industry.
The safeguard measures will operate through a combination of Minimum Import Price (MIP) and a Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) and will be in force until August 2008 unless member states choose to challenge and remove them in the next four months.
However, within Scottish aquaculture, the measures are controversial because a major chunk of the industry is owned by multinationals. The multiples, meanwhile, have been keen to source cheap product from Norway, Chile and the Faroes. The request for safeguard measures was brought by the UK and Irish governments in response to severe price cuts caused by overproduction in third countries.
The European Union Salmon Producers Group strongly welcomed the measures.
As a result of massive overproduction, Norway has been dumping salmon on the EU market, according to the group.
A spokesman said: “However despite losses, Norwegian production has continued to expand, whereas in the EU the industry is in crisis. Production in 2004 fell 16% and is set to fall a further 25% in 2005.”
The MIP has been set initially at a level of E2.70 (£1.85) per kilo for fresh salmon, rising to E2.85 (£1.96) by mid-April.
Kit Davies