Canada is buying more lobster from the US because it needs enough supply to meet Chinese market demand.
Canada's higher lobster demand will help relieve commercial war with China
Tuesday, December 04, 2018, 02:20 (GMT + 9)
In wake of the trade dispute between China and the United States, the American lobster business is getting a lifeline from Canada through the heavy
demand for the resource.
According to federal statistics and members of the industry, this is a positive sign for US seafood dealers and fishermen, even as the industry struggles with Chinese tariffs, The Press Herald reported.
China emerged as a major consumer of American lobster earlier this decade, but the country slapped heavy tariffs on exports in July amid its trade kerfuffle with President Trump’s administration. As a consequence, lobster exports slowed to a crawl.
Nevertheless, industry watchers forecast the move as a potential calamity for US seafood, but Canada has boosted the value of its lobster imports from the US by more than a third so far this year, up to more than USD 180 million through September.
Canada has its own lobster fishing industry, which harvests the same species as US fishermen, and the country sells lobsters domestically as well as to Europe and Asia.
Members of the sector explain that the country’s importing so many lobtsers from the US this year because it needs enough supply to send to China.
But after the recent opening of the lobster season in the Southwestern area of Nova Scotia, Canada is going to have more resources of its own and this could hit the US lobster industry.
The US lobster fishing business is based mostly in Maine, where the catch fell by about a sixth in 2017 to a little less than 111 million pounds.
In a bid to compensate the losses caused by the trade war with China, the Maine Lobster Dealers’ Association is focusing on expanding markets domestically, and in other Asian countries like Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Thailand.
“This is a major investment of time and money, on top of the investment that they had already put into developing China over the last 5-10 years,” said Annie Tselikis, Executive Director of the Maine Lobster Dealers’ Association.
- Trade war with China could force Maine lobster industry to change its strategy