Record increase in salmon prices22 February, 2010 – SALMON prices are climbing faster than at any time for several years, according to the latest global data. Since December the wholesale price for Norwegian salmon has risen by no less than 20.6 per cent, says the Statistics Norway organisation which monitors such movements. Only last month the shares of the Norwegian Leroy Seafood group were upgraded by the company’s brokers on the back of rising salmon prices. Then Marine Harvest reported an increase in earnings for the year. While worldwide demand for the fish is growing, the main reason for the steep climb is the collapse of the Chilean salmon industry following an outbreak of the fish disease ISA. Chile is the second largest producer of salmon, after Norway and a major supplier to the lucrative United States market, but production this year is likely to be less than a quarter of previous supplies. Attention has now switched to Norway which is now exporting salmon at an unprecedented level. It is also good news for Scottish salmon producers who are also receiving the benefit of the price rises and export demands. Two years ago Norway accounted for about half of the global volume – 1.5m tonnes – of Atlantic salmon. This is expected to rise by close to 70 per cent in 2010. Canada and Britain (mainly Scotland) which collectively account for about 20 per cent of the market, are also expected to see their share of the market expand. Some analysts expect prices to drop back again next year, particularly if the Chilean industry picks up again following the devastating outbreak of infectious salmon anaemia.