Norwegian salmon producers have dismissed suggestions that the removal of a US import tariff on Norwegian salmon will lead to a dramatic drop in salmon prices in the UK.

Last week, the US International Trade Commission said it would end a 20-year-old tariff on imported whole fresh Norwegian salmon. The tariff, implemented to stop Norway dumping cheap salmon on the US market, had previously added 26.1% to the cost of importing the fish.

Norway is the world’s biggest producer of farmed salmon and the removal of the tariff means it will be able to compete head-on with other producers in the US for the first time in two decades.

The news has prompted speculation that lower wholesale prices for salmon could be on the cards in the UK as salmon that had traditionally gone to the US might be diverted to other markets. One source said the ending of tariffs was likely to affect salmon farmed in the Faroe Islands, which had benefited most from Norwegian salmon being more expensive, with more Faroese salmon “making its way to Boulogne, Grimsby etc”.

Another source predicted the move would trigger increases in Chilean salmon production - prompting global prices to fall. “The Chilean producers will have to react to the threat of increased Norwegian imports, which will basically drop the price.”

But the Norwegian Seafood Council said the tariff’s revocation was unlikely to result in a significantly increased flow of Norwegian salmon exports to the US, as it would still be cheaper for Canadian producers to transport fish by truck.

“We find no reason for any implications for the trade of salmon to the EU. Neither volumes nor prices are likely to be affected,” said Egil Ove Sundheim, NSC director of market information.