Tags: lobster | glut | cheap | Maine

Lobster Glut Pushes Price Lower Than Deli Meat

Saturday, 07 Jul 2012 08:49 PM

By Todd Beamon

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A glut has driven down lobster prices so far that they some are cheaper per pound than deli meat.

In Maine, home of the crustacean delicacy retail price for soft-shell lobsters in the Portland area is as low as $3.79 a pound, U.S. News and World Report says.

“This is as good as it gets,” Zain Nemazie, of Austin, Texas, told the Associated Press last week after paying $4.59 a pound for large 1 1/2-pound lobsters on Portland’s waterfront. “We're from Texas, where we’d be paying at least $12 a pound.”

Soft-shell lobsters, those that have shed their hard carapaces, are easier to crack open — you can do it by hand — and have less meat, so they typically fetch lower prices than hard-shell lobsters.

Still, the sheer volume of the soft-shell variety that showed up weeks before the usual Independence Day kick-off of lobster season in Maine has tipped the scales of supply and demand in favor of lobster-craving consumers.

But for those who catch them, the fishing season is young and lobstermen are hopeful prices soon will rebound to their normal levels, said Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association.

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