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Stunning increase record lobster exports to China

Maine lobster. (Photo: Roberto Rodriguez)

Click on the flag for more information about United StatesUNITED STATES
Thursday, February 19, 2015, 02:10 (GMT + 9)
Chinese growing middle class have started to regard steamed, whole lobsters – flown in live from the United States – not just as a delicacy, but also a good-luck symbol and an exhibition of prosperity.
This trend keeps Maine lobstermen working even in winter, to supply this delicacy all year round, not just for the Lunar New Year.
One Maine wholesaler alone, The Lobster Co. based on Arundel, is sending 100,000 pounds of lobster to China each week.
The crustacean is placed live into crates and flown to China, where it is served for lunch or dinner for USD50 to USD100 in restaurants. The price is somewhat expensive, but more affordable than the competition, which lacks of the big meaty claws the American variety features.
Robert Bayer of the University of Maine's Lobster Institute considers the price of American lobster is very competitive.
"The primary competition in Asia in general is lobster from Australia and New Zealand, which has always been priced much, much higher than American lobster." And he adds, "So we're able to compete on price, bigtime," MPBN reported.
China also imports lobsters from Canada, Australia, South Africa, the Caribbean and elsewhere, but the U.S. variety is rocketing in its market.
According to Federal statistics, American lobster exports to China have increased from just over USD 2 million in 2009 to more than USD 90 million in 2014.
The state of Maine accounts for more than 80 per cent of all US lobster, representing more than 250 million pounds in 2012-13, and the highest two-year total in the record books.

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