Lobster connoisseurs may be wondering why they are paying more to buy lobster this year. The rising prices are uncharacteristic for the typical seasonal trends. Still, vendors have set a higher price tag for Maine’s beloved delicacy for a few reasons. The first reason is, people want their lobster right now. Therefore, the demand has become significant. The second distinct possibility is, lobster catchers are experiencing a slower than usual season.
How Do Lobster Prices Change Over a Season?
Maine lobster prices generally decline throughout the summer. The reason is, lobster catchers will gradually catch more throughout the months off of the state’s coast. The wholesale lobster prices will typically drop to $8 or $9 per pound. However, this summer when people would buy lobster, it never got below the $10.50 per pound mark. The lobster prices soared as well in the early weeks of autumn. As a result, consumers have spent more on lobsters whose prices have far exceeded recent records.
But consumers are not the only ones expressing an interest in purchasing lobster. International buyers and food processing companies want lobster as well. In fact, their interest continues to drive the heavy demand for the marine crustacean. On top of that, some of the seafood industry members have speculated about the possible effect of off-balance seasons in recent years. As a result, many have found that the seafood and lobster supplies are stretched thin.
What is the Average Price to Buy Lobster?
The United States’ lobster industry is based primarily in Maine. As mentioned previously, the pricing of lobster tends to ebb and flow throughout any given year. Lobster catchers will fish heavily during the summer months. The reason why they fish at that time is, it is when many lobsters reach their legal size. The lobsters will also shed their shells at that time.
This current season, the average wholesale price for lobster in September was $11.52. The price ranked as the second-highest price in any month throughout the last five years. It also became the highest price during a lobster peak-season month. Meanwhile, that meant that a consumer paid around $15 per pound for lobster. The lobster price increased about a third more than it was in 2020.
Will Lobster Prices Stay High?
Other external factors may influence the higher lobster prices. Federal regulators announced in August the closure of about 950 square miles of ocean in the Gulf of Maine. The restriction for traditional lobster fishing was planned to take place during the lucrative time frame of October through January. Lobster catchers who fish close to the shore will need to explore the required gear modification. Ultimately, the new regulations could cost fisheries around $91 million over six years.
So, what do these changes mean for consumers? When you buy lobster online, make sure you do your due diligence. Explore the different possible vendors when you purchase your seafood. Rather than only buying from grocery stores or markets, ordering lobster online is a reliable and sometimes cost-effective option.
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