Lobster imports from the United States has become increasingly popular in China. So much so, that it’s setting a new record for the country as China begins to further its expansion of its lobster market.
Until 2010, American lobster wasn’t something you would find in China. Around that time, however, the value for the delectable crustacean jumped by 250 percent to $7.4 million. That number only continued to grow which is proved by last year’s high number $108 million in lobsters from the United States. That number is up from the $90.2 million China imports saw back in 2014.
Just last year alone China brought in over 14 million pounds of U.S. lobster which is another record set compared to the previous year 13.1 million pounds the year before.
But it’s not just China who has developed a craving for American lobster. Other Asian countries are partaking, including South Korea. South Korea pulled in $28 million in imports last year which was a significant rise from the $5 million it brought in back in 2010. Vietnam also saw a rise in its imports with its small number of 142,940 to $31 million.
Some believe that the sudden rise in the number of lobster imports could be due to the fact that China has seen a great surge in its middle class. The American lobster is far cheaper than other seafood like the spiny lobster and geoduck clams. Stephanie Nadeau, who owns The Lobster Company in Arundel, Maine, commented that many customers appreciate the fact that American lobster is “kind of an affordable luxury.”
Last year was also a record catching year for fishermen in Maine who brought more than 130 million pounds of Lobster. That number is far more than double that of 2007. Those numbers don’t seem to be coming to halt anytime soon this year either. It’s recorded that lobster sales to China were at $14 million during the first few months of the new year. It’s also said that nearly 1.7 million pounds of lobster was exported as well.