Saturday, February 24, 2018
Business

Higher lobster prices could be sign of things to come

PORTLAND, Maine — Lobster prices in North American recently reached their highest point in more than 10 years and could become the typical bottom line as demand for processed lobster meat grows.

The wholesale price of a 1¼-pound hard-shelled lobster at the end of August reached $8.50, the highest price for that month since 2005, according to Urner Barry commodities publishing service.

Retail prices have remained high into September, with consumers typically paying $9 to $11 per pound for a live lobster — a few dollars more than a year ago at this time. The high prices are a product of several factors, including the ebb and flow of lobstermen's catch and the demand from Asian countries that are developing a taste for the New England treat.

But one factor — the growing demand for processed lobster products such as lobster rolls and lobster macaroni and cheese — could keep the price high in the future, said market analyst John Sackton, who publishes a website called SeafoodNews.com. The growing interest in the products has spurred demand in parts of the country where lobster is less common in restaurants than it is in New England, he said.

"Lobster trucks are starting up in Los Angeles and places like that," Sackton said. "I think, long term, there's going to be more of a shift where consumption of lobster is going to be predicated on processed products and less on live products."

The growth of the lobster processing industry in Maine, whose fishermen produce the country's largest catches, has helped enable the shift toward processed lobster products. Maine's industry was barely existent at all 25 years ago and now includes 15 firms that process millions of pounds of meat every year. Canada also has a significant lobster fishery and its processing industry is much larger.

This year, the typical autumn lobster price dip that happens after tourists flee New England's summer resort towns is still likely but could be less severe, Sackton said.

Alex Todd, a lobsterman who fishes out of Chebeague Island in Maine, said fishermen like him have gotten slightly more per pound this year. But it will take continued heavy catches to provide the processors with enough product, he said.

U.S. lobstermen caught more than 100 million pounds of lobster for the first time in 2009 and have exceeded that amount every year since. Maine and other coastal New England states account for most of the catch.

"The processors, they can't work unless we get a higher volume," Todd said.

Comments
Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

The head of the Pinellas and Hillsborough career centers under multiple investigations into the way they report job placement figures says he has no intention of stepping down.That’s unless he is paid five months severance.In a letter from his attorn...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Terminally ill Valrico man dies a month after marrying junior high sweetheart

Terminally ill Valrico man dies a month after marrying junior high sweetheart

VALRICO — During his final few days, 19-year-old Dustin Snyder moved to a hospice house, surrounded himself with belongings from home, swam in a pool and visited the beach in Ruskin.Wherever he went, the terminally ill Valrico man had family beside h...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Tampa Downtown Partnership gets initial city okay to expand north

Tampa Downtown Partnership gets initial city okay to expand north

TAMPA — The Downtowner may be heading to Tampa Heights — but not until Oct. 1.That’s because the nonprofit Tampa Downtown Partnership this week won initial City Council approval to expand into Tampa Heights."Tampa Heights is becoming an important gat...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Tampa lawyer gets 27 months in federal prison for insider trading

Tampa lawyer Walter "Chet’’ Little was sentenced this week to 27 months in federal prison for engaging in an insider trading scheme that reaped him and a friend profits totaling nearly $1 million.According to federal authorities, Little accessed comp...
Updated: 10 hours ago
More companies are cutting ties with gun lobby as #BoycottNRA movement gains steam

More companies are cutting ties with gun lobby as #BoycottNRA movement gains steam

Three major companies — Enterprise Holdings, First National Bank of Omaha, and the cybersecurity giant Symantec — have ended co-branding partnerships with the National Rifle Association as a #BoycottNRA social media movement picks up steam.Enterprise...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Citi to refund $330 Million to credit card customers it overcharged

Citi to refund $330 Million to credit card customers it overcharged

Citigroup is preparing to issue $330 million in refunds after the bank discovered it had overcharged nearly 2 million credit card customers on their annual interest rates, a spokeswoman said Friday.The bank, which has about 150 million credit card ac...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Girl Scouts camp sold to member of Tampa’s Lykes family

Girl Scouts camp sold to member of Tampa’s Lykes family

ODESSA — The 63-year-old lakeside summer camp had no air conditioning or electricity. Cabin floors were often covered in grime, and cobwebs clung to the windows.But under new ownership, the 18.6 acres of Florida woods known as Camp Scoutcrest to memb...
Published: 02/23/18
BB&T cites ‘technical issue’ in outage affecting customers

BB&T cites ‘technical issue’ in outage affecting customers

Millions of BB&T customers were unable to access their accounts after a service outage which the bank blames on an equipment malfunction. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based bank posted a statement on its Twitter page saying the problem persiste...
Published: 02/23/18
Realtors are ‘every 10 feet’ in Florida but more want in the business

Realtors are ‘every 10 feet’ in Florida but more want in the business

ST. PETERSBURG — Tired of working as a yacht captain, Pancho Jiminez decided to get into real estate even though he knows it’s a highly competitive field in Florida."Realtors are every 10 feet around here," he says.Nonetheless, Jiminez is among 30 st...
Published: 02/23/18
Winn-Dixie sells 8 stores after report says owner could close 200 locations

Winn-Dixie sells 8 stores after report says owner could close 200 locations

A week after Bloomberg reported that Southeastern Grocers — the Jacksonville retailer that owns Winn-Dixie and other chains — could be closing up to 200 stores, the company announced it was selling off eight of its Louisiana locations.Texas’ Brooksh...
Published: 02/23/18