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Old 07-11-2012, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Florida and New England
1,101 posts, read 1,305,766 times
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Why is the price of lobster so low this year? Unusually large supply? This is one commodity market I admit I have never truly understood.

Last week was gorgeous in Cape Elizabeth. I couldn't believe the stories about the heat and storms down south while we were enjoying such glory. I'll be back twice again this summer!
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Lubec, ME
908 posts, read 869,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westender View Post
Why is the price of lobster so low this year? Unusually large supply? This is one commodity market I admit I have never truly understood.

Last week was gorgeous in Cape Elizabeth. I couldn't believe the stories about the heat and storms down south while we were enjoying such glory. I'll be back twice again this summer!
It's just like anything else. What many consider a "luxury" item is oversupplied. Welcome to the world of climate change (no, not the political ramifications but the weather ramifications). Likely the 80 degree March weather has turned out soft-shells too many, too early. Those who knew the true implications of a mild winter are seeing it now in the weather of the country. Heat, drought, farming and aquaculture are being affected.

When farmers or aquaculture get a surplus, it ruins them. This is because demand can't keep pace, so the price lowers. And lowers. And lowers. The government has to subsidize them and pay them to destroy crop. Sad, very sad. But it has been the course of action for as long as markets have existed.

Strawberry farmers had it last year, I believe.


So what happens is 10 million people buy lobster. Lobster is priced high (I don't know what a high rate would be, maybe 2x the price this year?). 10 million consumers and 100 million lobsters (these numbers are made up).

This year, lobster are hauled at 150 million. Prices go down in anticipation of the same 10 million customers. Perhaps a few more million see the price and double down. It still won't cover the surplus. Haphazard economics but ah well


I see someone said the tourists are slow where they are. Up in Lubec, I hear they are breaking records. My 'landlord' rents to summer tourists after I move out. He was booked. I would walk around town, on any given day I would see 5-6 different plates (not counting NB or Maine).
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Northern Maine
9,502 posts, read 14,300,543 times
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I see it from a different vantage point. Demand for lobster is down because the usual customers are not here. With demand down, supply is high and dealers won't pay for product that could spoil. They cut the price they will pay. Local retail customers benefit. Lobstermen lose. The price of Diesel is beginning to come down, but not enough to compensate for the low catch price.

Some co-ops have stopped fishing. That is a narrow point of view. Other co-ops are fishing and of course the Canadians are fishing. They have government subsidies to prevent fishermen from losing money. Maine lobstermen are caught by the Obama recession and it isn't going to get any better this year or until 2016, depending on how the election turns out.
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Old 07-13-2012, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,489 posts, read 6,432,202 times
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Bumper crop of shedders this year, which are usually processed by Canadian plants, Canadian lobstermen have the plants operating at capacity so they aren't buying from the US fishermen, which only leaves them the domestic market. So, the domestic market is glutted and the prices are down- supply and demand, supply exceeds demand so the price goes down.

An article in the BDN yesterday said that they had decided to stop hauling for a while so that they can inflate the price. Sounds an awful lot like "price fixing" to me, which is illegal in a lot of cases but apparently not for this. Doesn't matter to me since I don't eat lobster anyway.
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:21 PM
 
1,360 posts, read 1,857,536 times
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Originally Posted by Coaster View Post
Definitely more this year, but from the upper half of the East Coast. New Jersey is very thick on the ground, as are Massachusetts and Connecticut. New York is well represented. Very few D.C. or Maryland or points south, except the usual Florida snow birds.

My theory is that people are vacationing on the cheap, driving to places within a day's travel rather than flying West and renting a car to see Yellowstone or the Black Hills.
I have friends who flew to Maine to visit Acadia National Park a year ago and are flying to visit Yosemite this year....rented a car upon arrival at both places. Now is a great time for lobster eaters but not so great for lobster fisherman/fisherwomen. Saw on the news a couple of days ago where lobster fisherman/women in Stonington plan to keep their boats docked for a while....barely breaking even. There were $3.99 per lb. lobsters in December 2008 so this isn't the first time that prices have dropped...usually not that cheap even in winter. btw, I don't think this is about price fixing; I think it's about supply and demand.
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Maine
1,950 posts, read 2,596,910 times
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Default Some inspiration for people seeking lobster rolls...

Here's a feature in the Wall Street Journal that may bring more travelers to Maine:

The Best Lobster Rolls in Maine - WSJ.com

Delicious!
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:03 PM
 
1,253 posts, read 1,781,126 times
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I have to say, Linda Bean's lobster roll is really good.
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Lubec, ME
908 posts, read 869,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post
Maine lobstermen are caught by the Obama recession and it isn't going to get any better this year or until 2016, depending on how the election turns out.
lol....false.
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Lubec, ME
908 posts, read 869,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post

An article in the BDN yesterday said that they had decided to stop hauling for a while so that they can inflate the price. Sounds an awful lot like "price fixing" to me, which is illegal in a lot of cases but apparently not for this. Doesn't matter to me since I don't eat lobster anyway.
Collusion is illegal...but collusion is conspiring with other companies or co-ops to drive the price up. One group stopping work isn't collusion. And there are convoluted methods to determine at what point is it collusion.
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:59 AM
 
17,165 posts, read 22,189,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post
I see it from a different vantage point. Demand for lobster is down because the usual customers are not here. With demand down, supply is high and dealers won't pay for product that could spoil. They cut the price they will pay. Local retail customers benefit. Lobstermen lose. The price of Diesel is beginning to come down, but not enough to compensate for the low catch price.

Some co-ops have stopped fishing. That is a narrow point of view. Other co-ops are fishing and of course the Canadians are fishing. They have government subsidies to prevent fishermen from losing money. Maine lobstermen are caught by the Obama recession and it isn't going to get any better this year or until 2016, depending on how the election turns out.

good post nmlm

I had lobsters last night , the meal was put on by a lobsterman, and much of what you said is correct
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