Word On The Street

NORTH ATLANTIC LOBSTER COALITION MARKET DEMAND AND SUPPLY UPDATE - MASSACHUSETTS REPORT

WEEK OF June 30, 2014

DEMAND has picked up as we approach the July 4th holiday. It is, currently, at a light to moderate level but could pick up as the holiday approaches. Restaurants are gearing up for the holiday and ordering lobsters.

SUPPLY is getting tight and may result in a less than adequate supply. Local landings are light and this is resulting in a less than adequate supply. Canadian lobsters are being brought into the Boston market to maintain inventories but Canadian suppliers have been raising the price for their product. These are fresh caughts from areas that are open. The Canadian “held” product has not been released to the Boston market. Some Maine product has been available to the Boston market but their landings have also been light, as is the case in Massachusetts and much of these lobsters are needed to satisfy the local Maine demand. There continues to be only light landings of offshore product. There seems to be enough select sizes (2-3 lbs.) but the tight supply seems to be in the smaller sizes (1 – 1 1⁄2 lbs). Most of the available product is still hard shells with very few softer/new shells being landed yet.

QUALITY of the available product is still very good. The hard shells from Canada and any local or Maine product that is still hard shelled is all shippable. The quality of what little soft/new shells has been landed is only fair but so far, there has not been a significant amount. This could change if more softer/new shells start to be landed.

PRICE should hold at current levels or could edge upwards at least this week. This is because of the light landings locally, the tightening supply for the higher demand period and because the Canadian suppliers have increased the price they want the Boston market to pay for their product. Also, so far, the quality of what is available is still very good. All this should equate to a holding or increasing the local boat price. What could alter this is if more softer / new shells show up in more quantity in local landings. The price could weaken after the holiday period as demand slips and if the new shellers start to come in.