Tight supplies and China drive EU lobster market

EU lobster prices were up 38% y-o-y at the start of February, due to an increase in demand from China and tight global supplies.

Global lobster supplies have tightened, due to poor catches in the US and Canada, the world’s largest producers. In Nova Scotia, a major fishing area on the east coast in the US, unfavourable cold weather conditions disrupted catches throughout December and January.

Demand for lobster in China rose throughout 2016, driven by growth in the middle class and shifting consumer preferences, boosting EU trade. Lobster exports from the UK, which is the largest producer in the EU, to China increased 71% y-o-y to 14,800 tonnes in the first 11 months of 2016. Recently, China has further increased its imports of lobster from the EU, particularly during the Chinese New Year, due to tight supplies elsewhere.