Lobster Market Report – August 2013

Shedders dominate, price drops on spotty catches

The July lobster market reflected the arrival of shedders as the dominant grade of lobster.  This year, though, the shedders did so in a spotty, patchy way rather than in an overwhelming glut, as they did last year.  In fact, some dealers thought this year’s shedder volume was down as much as 40%.

The percentage of hard shells in the catch was fading fast, down to 5% in many places.  But their value was increasing.

A week to 10 days before the July 9 reporting week, the Maine old shell price rose a dollar.  Once Canadian dealers saw that price jump, a US exporter said, they followed suit, and Canadian prices jumped close to a dollar almost overnight.  This price jump was for the 15 million lbs of old shell product being held in long-term storage in tubes and trays in Canada, where lobster fishing was essentially over until the fall.  A New Brunswick processor, though, added that the price also went up because the volume of shedders is not as heavy this year as it was last year.


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