The Strategist

Demand for lobsters spurred maximum price increase on the world market

10/11/2016 - 15:24

Wholesale prices for lobsters on the world market have reached the maximum of 11 years due to increasing demand for a variety of dishes made with this product - from burgers to soups. According to American company Urner Barry, collects data on various segments of the commodity market, wholesale prices in North America (the world standard) increased to $ 6 per pound ($ 13.2 per kilogram).

Dana Moos
Dana Moos
According to Financial Times, in recent years lobsters have become more accessible to the general public, and the hipster subculture especially liked burgers and buns with this delicious product. One of the reasons for this was crisis on the seafood market segment in the US.

"Strong demand and limited supply are pushing prices up, especially for lobster meat" - says expert of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Audun Lem.

In 2009, wholesale price for lobsters fell to historic lows - $ 3.70 per pound, which was explained by low interest of consumers after the global financial crisis, and an excess of crustaceans on the East Coast of the United States due to favorable weather conditions.

After the collapse of prices, traders began to search for new markets, one of which is Asia. In addition, sales of frozen lobster have increased throughout the world in a number of countries, including the UK, where the product can be found even in discount stores. Increased demand triggered lobsters capture, especially in North America. According to East Coast Seafoods, fishermen caught 360 million pounds of lobsters in 2015. This is 80% more than in 2005, and almost 60% more than in 2009.

In the first quarter of 2016, the global import of lobsters has increased by 7% in annual terms, to 29.1 thousand tons, while imports to the EU jumped by 20%. According to FAO, demand for lobster in China decreased due to deceleration of the economy. However, other Asian countries, including Thailand, South Korea and Japan, continue to note a rapid growth. 

Meanwhile, demand for seafood and fish in general keeps growing. FAO forecasted that global production of fish and seafood will reach 175 million tons in 2016, which is 2.3% more than in 2015. The main growth driver is the strong demand for such products. Global fish consumption is expected to reach 153.6 million tons, or 20.6 kg per person per year, which is 2.8% higher than in 2015. A trend observed in recent years shows that increase in production will occur mainly due to aquaculture. In 2016, 81.4 million tons of fish and seafood will be produced in artificial conditions in total, which is 4 million tons more than in 2015. Industrial fishing for 2015 will remain at the level of 93.5 million tons. According to various estimates, world trade volumes of fish and seafood in 2016 will also grow steadily. However, falling prices on the majority of seafood may bring export volumes down by 1% compared to 2015.