Note: For the most recent price of Maine lobster, click here.
The price of lobster in Maine remains high this fall. Typically after Labor Day, as summer and the tourist season draws to a close, there is a drop in demand for Maine lobster which leads to a drop in price. This year however the price of lobster has held steady. The current boat price of lobster is roughly $5.85 in Cutler, where my family fish. This is an excellent price per pound for hard shell lobster and in line with the boat price of lobster in July. New shell (also known as soft shell or shedder) lobsters are selling for just over $4.00 per pound.
The market price of lobster in Maine ranges from retailer to retailer. At Hanniford supermarkets in Southern Maine soft shell lobster is retailing at $7.99 per pound (for medium-sized lobsters). Most Maine restaurant menus do not include a specific price for lobster dinner entrees as the market price of Maine lobster fluctuates so frequently. Maine restaurants serving lobster usually just print ‘market price’ on their menus and you have to confirm the price on the day.
So what’s influencing the current price of Maine lobster? An exceptionally cold winter led to colder ocean temperatures this spring and summer. The temperature of the ocean impacts when lobsters shed their shell and the start of the Maine lobster season. Because the ocean was a bit colder this summer, the season got off to a later start. In short, lobsters were more scarce and scarcity has impact on a product’s value. In addition, the demand for lobster in China is continuing to grow and this demand has compensated for what the drop off in American demand after Labor Day. As the daughter of a lobster fishermen, I am pleased to see higher lobster prices and hope the fishermen have a successful end to the 2015 lobster fishing season.