Craze for lobsters in China sends US exports soaring

Craze for lobsters in China sends US exports soaring

The demand for lobsters in China is booming with record exports from the United States.

Just a decade ago American lobsters were almost unheard of in most of China. By 2010, imports had increased by 250 percent to nearly $7.4 million worth.

Now that seems just like a drop in the ocean after China imported over $108 million in lobsters from the US last year, overtaking the previous record set in 2014 at $90.2 million.

“We've opened new markets in Asia, which is booming. Everything is clicking now,” said Dave Cousens, president of the Maine Lobstermen's Association, as quoted by AP.

Chinese importers bought over 14 million pounds (6.4 million kilograms) of American lobsters in 2016, which was also a record compared to 13.1 million pounds (5.9 million kilograms) the previous year.

China is not the only country in the Asian market that has got hooked on American shellfish. Lobster imports to South Korea grew from less than $5 million in 2010 to nearly $28 million last year, while shipments to Vietnam increased from $142,940 to more than $31 million in the same period.

“The Asian market is a key component,” said Patrick Keliher, the commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

The surge of the product in China is connected to the growth of the country's middle class, according to Stephanie Nadeau, the owner of The Lobster Company, in Arundel, Maine. She said American lobsters are less expensive in China compared to other live seafood, such as spiny lobsters and geoduck clams.

“It's kind of an affordable luxury. One of my customers said our lobsters are one of the cheapest things in the live tanks,” Nadeau added.

China sees economy growth at 6.5-6.7 percenthttps://t.co/KN7WxJ56Lwpic.twitter.com/SQreyJffRx

— RT (@RT_com) January 5, 2017

Lobster sales to China are not slowing down this year with more than 1.7 million pounds (0.8 million kilograms) and $14 million in lobsters exported in the first month of 2017.

With the rapid growth in demand, US fishermen caught an all-time record 130 million pounds (59 million kilograms) of lobster in Maine last year, the figure is more than double the 2007 total.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Ferne McCann's boyfriend Arthur Collins was 'tasered' by police as he was arrested and charged with 14 counts of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and one count of throwing corrosive fluid in connection with east London nightclub acid att

Ferne McCann's boyfriend Arthur Collins was 'tasered' by police as he was arrested and charged..

24-Apr, 03:57

Arthur Collins has been arrested and charged with 14 counts of wounding...

General Election 2017: Energy bill cap 'will hit consumers'

General Election 2017: Energy bill cap 'will hit consumers'..

24-Apr, 03:34

Plans by the Conservative Party for a cap on household energy bills will...

Top stories, key analysis

Top stories, key analysis..

24-Apr, 02:57

So, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen it is. A 39-year-old who's never...

Hammer kills Illinois student in freak athletics accident

Hammer kills Illinois student in freak athletics accident..

24-Apr, 10:24

An Illinois college student has died after being hit by a hammer during...

Old-School Satirical Paper Upends French Presidential Race

Old-School Satirical Paper Upends French Presidential Race..

01-Feb, 09:36

For a small duck it packs one hell of a peck. One-time French...

YouTube reverses some restrictions on gay-themed content

YouTube reverses some restrictions on gay-themed content..

21-Mar, 23:06

The YouTube video shows two women, dressed in suits and ties. They smile;...

Fed official: Bond holdings would be reduced gradually

Fed official: Bond holdings would be reduced gradually..

06-Apr, 09:08

A top U.S. Federal Reserve official says the central bank would likely...

Wanted: Female candidates for Algeria's parliament quota

Wanted: Female candidates for Algeria's parliament quota..

05-Mar, 05:35

Algerian law requires the next parliament to be made up of 30 percent...