Canadian catches swamp market; prices suffer
“There are too many lobsters being caught,” a Boston dealer said of the June lobster market. “It happens every spring.”
A Massachusetts exporter agreed, saying of Canadian landings, “It is a glut and it is increasing.”
A Maine buyer said Cape Breton, the Magdalene Islands, Newfoundland, Eastern Nova Scotia, and even Southwestern Nova Scotia at the tail end
of its fishing season had huge catches. An exporter reported 2,800 crates
floating at Cape Breton. But a Canadian exporter argued the problem was not the size of what he called “a substantial catch” as much as it was a problem of sales.
Live market sales were down 30%, the exporter observed. “More importantly,” he pointed out, a few dealers in both the US and Canada who sell lobster cheap were “undercutting an already weak market.” A Downeast Maine dealer who buys from Canada spoke of “all kinds of people calling, selling, and each one (saying) ‘I can compete with that,’ ‘I’ll do that,’ and selling for less.”
The Maine buyer, who had been purchasing one or two trailer-loads out of Canada a week, reported that the huge catches caused prices to drop so frequently she stopped buying. “Our customers know the prices before we buy,” she said. “Nobody is buying because they’re waiting for the price to come down another quarter tomorrow.” In fact, she said, “By the time you get (the lobsters you bought from Canada) in the door that night…
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