HomeRock lobster prices set to fall to six-year low in Victoria

Rock lobster prices set to fall to six-year low in Victoria

Lobster prices are set to hit a six-year low in Victoria, as the industry “battles it out” following China’s ban on imports.

If you’ve had a craving for lobster lately but haven’t felt like paying the premium price tag, now is the perfect time to snag a bargain.

Victorian rock lobster prices are expected to hit a six-year low this month, as the seafood industry continues to feel the pressure of China’s recent import ban on the crustaceans.

Seafood Industry Victoria said prices could drop to $70/kg in November, a huge decrease from the $140/kg they were selling for two years ago.

The record low prices are a result of China’s decision in 2020 to implement widespread bans on Australian exports.

Rock lobsters were named in the ban, along with beef, timber and cotton.

Seafood Industry Victoria member and San Remo lobster fisher, Matthew Harry, told 3AW’s Ross and Russel the industry has been “battling it out” to find new markets for the past 12 months.

“We are finding other markets: Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, even America is starting to buy a few, but more importantly the local market is starting to buy a few,” he said.

Mr Harry urged anyone thinking about taking advantage of the falling lobster prices to do so now, with prices expected to rise again closer to Christmas.

“What we want Victorians to know is that there will be increased demand leading up to Christmas this year, so now is a great time with great prices to get hold of a lobster,” he said.

“It is a great opportunity for Victorians to get something that sometimes might be a little bit expensive.”

Prices are expected to head towards $100/kg over the Christmas and New Year period.

Seafood Industry Australia chief executive Veronica Papacosta told The Age that Australian retailers now have a “duty” to offer local seafood products to the community.

She said supermarkets had often stocked imported lobster because it was cheaper.

“If the Australian product is available, [retailers] have a duty to the community to get it to them,” she told the publication.

“It’s about getting this product to the community at a great price so we can take advantage of that locally.”

China’s ban on Australian rock lobsters came after the country claimed to have found traces of the heavy metal cadmium in the crayfish.

This meant tonnes of live lobsters were stranded on the tarmac in China while waiting inspections.

However, industry leaders said cadmium was not found in lobsters in Australia’s southern waters.

Beijing’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin defended the quarantine measures during a press conference last November.

“This practice is in line with pertinent laws and regulations, and protects the safety of Chinese consumers buying imported food,” he said.

Read related topics:ChinaMelbourne


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