Lobsters prices drop somewhat ahead of Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial start of the industry’s critical summer season.
The price of lobsters and seafood in general has increased in recent years, and the price of lobster fishermen at the docks has increased by about 60% last year. But lobsters prices seem to be stabilizing, and some retailers are selling the prized crustaceans for a few dollars less than last year.
Industry members said the price on fishermen is also dropping as they struggle with rising bait and fuel prices and costly equipment talks aimed at trying to protect rare whales.
“And that’s why it’s tough — if the bait is high and the fuel goes up and the price of lobsters goes up, you’ll always be there,” said Kristan Porter, president of the Maine Lobstermen Association. “But with those, that makes it hard to justify going in.”
Trade publishing company Urner Barry reported this week that the wholesale price for a 1.25-pound hard-shelled lobster dropped from $12.35 a pound on April 1 to $9.35 a pound on May 1. Lobster prices typically drop from April to May, but the price drop this year has been the largest since 2018.
Wholesale lobsters prices have been unusually high for nearly a year, but a price drop this month is bringing prices closer to historical standards. Some retailers such as Harbor Fish, a Portland seafood market, sell live one-pound lobsters for $12 a pound, which is $2 less than 2021 at this time.
Lobster prices are heading down a little bit at a time when there were many Grocery staples are becoming more expensive The United States deals with it economic inflation. John Sacton, industry analyst and founder of SeafoodNews.com, said the lower prices may reflect lower demand amid concerns about the economy as a whole.
“It’s discretionary, and whatever you see about discretionary spending, people are cutting back on their spending,” Sachton said. “People’s disposable income is declining.”
The lobster hunting business usually accelerates in the summer when many lobsters have shed their shells and reach the legal harvest size. Prices for consumers usually fall when that happens due to oversupply, although they remained fairly high last year.
American industry is based in New England, especially Maine. Lobstermen in the state had a strong year in 2021, when they caught more than 108 million pounds of lobsters. Its value reached a record amount for the state of more than 730 million dollars.
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