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US lobster exports to Europe are down this year

Posted at 9:36 AM, Dec 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-20 09:36:55-05

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — American exporters say lobster shipments to European countries including France, Italy and Spain are down because of the strong dollar and a less-than-festive economy overseas.

Lobsters are a Christmas tradition in several European countries, where supermarkets rely on the crustaceans to draw shoppers around the holidays. But American shippers say they are in the midst of a weak year.

The trend reflects a broader slide in the amount of lobster the U.S. is sending to Europe. Live and frozen shipments to Spain valued at more than $63 million in 2007 fell to less than $40 million last year. The value of live lobster shipments to Europe through October has also dipped this year compared to last.

Boston-area shipper Mike Tourkistas says the price of lobsters to European consumers is rising.