Maine lobster. (Photo: Roberto Rodriguez)
Low catch and strong sales are rocketing lobster price
Tuesday, January 10, 2017, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
The low winter catch in New England and Canada, coupled with increased exports to China, are driving lobster prices up.
On the one hand, the bad weather is slowing down winter catch, which is typically a slow season for U.S. lobster fishermen and a generally active one off Atlantic Canada.
At the same time, there is increasing demand for American lobster in China, especially at this time, when the Asian country celebrates its New Year on 28 January.
American consumers were already paying prices higher than in the previous year, from USD 9 to USD 11 per pound for a live lobster in September. However, now prices have moved up to USD 13 per pound.
In the last three years, lobster sales to China generated about USD 85 million in revenue, amounting to about 12 million pounds. The lowest level of export was in 2010, when China only imported less than one million pounds, Associated Press reported.
According to federal records, US fishermen have caught more than 100 million pounds of lobster for seven years in a row after having never accomplished that achievement previously.
Lobsters were worth a record of more than USD 600 million at the docks in 2015, official records indicate.