August 2023: Comprehensive Lobster Market Trends and Analysis

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Supply Dynamics:

Since mid-July, Canada has landed very little lobster. The next processing season in LFA 25 in New Brunswick is expected to open around August 13th, running until mid-October. This is relatively small-scale, with volumes between 20-24 million lbs, compared to over 100 million lbs in the May and June spring fishery.

Lobster landings in Maine were steady in July but not extraordinary, and August’s catch has started slow. However, August to October is typically a high volume period for Maine, with peak volumes from July to October.

Demand Dynamics:

Live Lobster
Demand for live lobster in the US and Europe has been consistent but unremarkable. Chinese demand is unpredictable and price-sensitive, with interest in US firm-shell products at lower prices.

Processed Lobster
The demand for lobster tails has been robust across various sectors, including cruise lines, retail, casinos, and foodservice. A shift to lower-priced warm water tails has been noted, especially in retail. Market interest in meat packs has remained strong through the summer, with limited holdings at the processor level.

Pricing Outlook:

Live Lobster Prices
Prices have been steady but have increased slightly recently. Maine’s new-shell lobsters entered the market at lower prices due to low meat fills and higher mortality. With the limited hard-shell inventory until late fall, Maine’s new-shell lobster may see significant interest from processors, which could influence prices.

Processed Lobster Prices
The tail market has been stable since June, and there’s little indication of a downside in the near term due to the alignment between production volumes and demand.

The meat market has also remained stable since late winter. With the increased velocity and menu placement, the outlook for nicer packs seems steady as the trade moves into fall, and the excess broken meat inventory from last winter has been cleared.
Please reach out to your sales rep for more information.