Higher prices for lobster starting this spring

Higher prices for lobster starting this spring

Carleton (Quebec) 28 April 2015 – It would appear the price of lobster is going to be somewhat higher this year than last due to the weather and an increase in exports to China. The cold winter and late spring have pushed the harvest back a week more than usual meaning the season is getting off to a late start causing the lobster fishermen to have to catch up on their quotas to meet their revenues.

The season usually starts around the 19 or 20 of April but this year the slow melting ice has delayed the launch until the 29th.

The major reason however for the price increase is the rise in the export quotas set out by China. China has bought out some of the major lobster fisheries in Canada and consequently those companies are shipping their catches directly to their homeland market. Lobster has become a delicacy in China and the demand is stronger than the supply allowing the local producers to demand a higher price on the international market. Unfortunately that leaves less lobster on the table for the local sellers also creating a supply and demand imbalance.

Those who fish lobsters are expecting to get about $6 / lb at the beginning of the season up until Mother’s Day and then maybe it will go down to $5 or $5.50 for the rest of the season. Last year the price averaged out at around $4.25 / lb. In Nova Scotia the price at the beginning of the season for the fishermen will be more in the range of $8 / lb.

Canadian lobster is a much sought after product and all the Maritime Provinces and Quebec share the growing demand. Most of the lobster trapped in Quebec is up the Gaspé coast and off the banks of Les Îles de la Madeleine (Magdalen Islands).

Depending on the store and /or special sales, the price to the local consumer will be from $11.50 to $9.95 /lb early in May and should decrease around the 15th or 21st to maybe $9.00.

Bon appétit.

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