SEAFOODNEWS.COM [163.com] Translated by Amy Zhong October 17, 2016
Lobsters become more accessible to Xiamen households as supplies increase and there is more price competition.
Imported lobsters used to be representative of high-end seafood. But now these lobsters have become more accessible to most households than before. For example, Boston lobsters sold at about 150 yuan each are widely received on e-commerce platforms. And a market research shows that the price of Boston lobsters in Xiamen’s physical stores is even lower than that of online sellers. And other lobsters like Chinese spiny lobsters are also high-quality and sold at comparatively low prices thanks to sufficient supply.
The popular Boston lobsters are not actual spiny lobsters because they have claws, and this has surprised some customers.
During this National Day, Zhang from Xiamen bought a one-jin Boston lobster at 158 yuan through some online platform. This lobster arrived at his door the next afternoon. However, Zhang was surprised by its appearance, which was different from those Zhang ate in restaurants before. To solve Zhang’s puzzle, the reporter has paid a visit to Xiamen’s most popular aquatic market, Bashi, as well as several large supermarkets. It is found that four different species of lobsters are sold in most Xiamen markets. And Boston lobsters are available in every market. One-jin Boston lobsters are sold at 138 yuan in Walmart lower than those on e-commerce platforms.
However, some in the Bashi market say Boston lobsters are not actual lobsters but one kind of crayfish, said one seller. However, they are popular among consumers owing to online promotion. And these lobsters at usually around one jin each and sold at a little over 100 yuan in local markets, while spiny lobster can be as much as 300 yuan/jin (1 jin=0.5 kilo).
Chinese spiny lobsters, tropical rock lobsters and red lobsters are also common lobster options in Xiamen’s local markets. Most lobsters here are imported from foreign countries and every store has their specific suppliers. The lobster prices have been stable during the past two years and festivals exert limited influence on them, said another Bashi aquatic seller. He also told the reporter that Chinese spiny lobsters were the most economical in the store. These lobsters weigh about 0.5 to 0.6 jin each and are sold at 150 yuan/jin. This means that one such lobster is around 80 yuan.
Chinese spiny lobster
The sales volume is highest of Chinese spiny lobsters in another store called Yongshan. These lobsters have more meat and are of better quality than Boston lobsters, while their prices are similar. And with sufficient supply, there is not much increase in the prices of Chinese spiny lobsters even during this National Day.
The wholesale price is about 125 to 130 yuan/jin for Chinese spiny lobsters, said the Yongshan owner. These lobsters are normally about 0.4 to 0.8 jin each. Normally their retail prices are not higher than 160 yuan/jin. Tropical rock lobsters are larger than Chinese spiny lobsters. Their prices depend on if they are above or below 2 jin. But they are about 300 yuan/jin. Red lobsters are around 200 yuan/jin.