Europe’s appetite for lobster withstands economy

Canadian lobster exporters have their eyes trained on Europe’s slumping economy.

With the lucrative southwestern Nova Scotia lobster season now underway, it begs the question: does an appetite remain for the tasty crustaceans in traditional European markets?

“Obviously, obviously, obviously, the economic situation in the EU is a concern,” said one broker who typically moves about 200 tons of lobster in December.

“But, to be candid, we’ve dealt with the economic situation in the U.S. as well over the last year or so. Those are two key markets for Canadian hard-shell lobster in December and the first quarter of next year. And with huge challenges in both America and Europe, it’s a concern.”

The exporter, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he expects the Europeans will buy “somewhat close” to their normal volume of Nova Scotia lobster in December.

“Part of the reason for that is I think they want a diversion of sorts. Lobster’s a tradition at Christmas and New Year’s in Europe, and I think they’ll want to maintain that tradition. It’s not a good parallel, but what I’m reminded of is apparently movie attendance in the Depression was greater than ever.”

He hopes to achieve 75 to 80 per cent of his company’s normal European volumes.

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