Farmers are "shafting" UK customers because they can sell to the US at a higher price, a smoked salmon producer has claimed.

Scottish farmers were cashing in on a global salmon shortage by selling at high prices to US buyers rather than maintaining existing prices with loyal domestic customers, said Lance Forman, CEO of H Forman & Son. "All those years we refused to buy Norwegian salmon and they shaft us because they can sell at a higher price to Americans," he said.

Spot prices on Scottish salmon were about £5.50 per kilo, he said, up 40% over the past two months.

However, Forman's claims were refuted by Wille Liston, MD at salmon farmer Lakeland Group. "It is outrageous to suggest the Scottish industry is ignoring its customer base." Rather than sell for short-term gain to the US, the industry had agreed fixed-price contracts with strategic customers, he claimed.