YORK, Maine (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- A lobster wholesaler in York invested $1.5 million to expand its facilities. Maine Coast was finishing up renovations when Maine lobsters were hit with a 25% punitive tariff in mainland China. Owner Tom Adams says Chinese sales accounted for more than 20% of their business last year.
"In 2017, from the period of July 6th to the end of August, we've shipped over 300,000 pounds into mainland China," said Adams. "This year we are around 30,000 pounds same time period." Adams estimates about an 89% decrease of sales to mainland China, forcing Maine Coast to find other buyers to cover costs. "We are selling lobsters at a lower price point than we were other years to keep busy," said Adams.
The Maine International Trade Center tells NEWS CENTER Maine that July numbers won't be available until mid-September.
Maine lobster exports to China were up 169% for the first 6 months of 2018 over last year – before Chinese tariffs went into effect on July 6th.-Wade Merritt, President of Maine International Trade Center.
Tariffs on Maine lobster have reportedly not trickled down to the docks, only affecting business to wholesalers shipping to mainland China.