• Sydneysiders flock to fishmarkets at Christmas time.

Sydneysiders flock to fishmarkets at Christmas time. (Photo : Getty Images)

Cold weather and low temperatures are causing the low supply of lobsters. The already expensive seafood is seen to increase even more.

The catch is even slow at what used to be a good season for Atlantic Canada and fisherfolk blame it on the weather. Chinese consumers, on the other hand, are increasing orders, especially around Chinese New Year.

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Bill Bruns, the operations manager at The Lobster Company of Arundel, said, "Maine American consumers who were paying $9 to $11 per pound for a live lobster in September--already higher than the previous year--are now sometimes paying upward of $13 per pound. There are enough lobsters to go around, but China's demand is likely to only grow."

He added, "They are building infrastructure to meet more demand and China's middle class hasn't stopped growing, and they keep eating."

There are about $85 million in the value of lobster sales to China for the past three years and totaled to 12 million pounds. The lowest was in 2010 when the country only imported less than a million pounds.

Chinese believe that lobster is lucky for its red color and will be serving for the coming Chinese New Year.

In 2014, there were 100 tons of Canadian lobster on Alibaba and increased to 300 tons in 2015.

According to Urner Barry commodities publishing service, the wholesale price of a 1 ¼-pound live hard-shell lobster rose about a dollar from December to January from $7.75 per pound.

Stephanie Nadeau, who shipped 2.5 million pounds of lobsters last year by air to China for The Lobster Co. in Arundel, Maine, said, "When the domestic market collapsed, we looked farther and farther for buyers."

She added: "I never sold a lobster to China until 2010. It was the really low price and the dealer's desperation here because we had high catches and a god-awful economy. We had to move the lobster."

Abhay Sinha, a senior food and retail analyst at London-based researcher Technavio, said that the rising Chinese middle class may surge to 1 billion people by 2030 and will heighten demand for all kinds of higher-value foods.