North American lobster prices reach 11-year-high

Published on
September 2, 2016

North American lobsters are achieving their highest prices seen in 11 years due to peaking domestic demand and increasing interest from overseas markets, according to an article in the Portland (Maine) Press Herald.

A standard-weight, hard-shell 1.25 pound lobster is now selling for USD 8.50 (EUR 7.58), with new-shell lobster selling for USD 6 (EUR 5.35), the most valuable they’ve been since 2005, according to the newspaper.

The newspaper interviewed John Randall, a manager at Portland Lobster Co., Annie Tselikis, marketing director at Maine Coast Co. and executive director of the Maine Lobster Dealers’ Association and Scott Wuerthner, sales manager of the lobster division at Inland Seafood, and determined prices have risen both to peaking demand in anticipation of the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend and creative marketing nationally and internationally.

Tselikis said a push to grow demand for North American lobster in Asia following the cratering of the market in 2012, when lobsters were selling for as little as USD 2.25 (EUR 2.01) per pound at the dock, is paying off. Exports of lobster to destinations including China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam, are soaring, she said.

Technological innovations in freezing, processing and packaging have made it cheaper and easier to ship lobster all over the world, enabling the current market uptick, Wuerthner told the Press Herald.

“Lobsters are going all over the world now,” he said. “The last five or six years when the catch came on really strong, we were forced to do that.”

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