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Lobster prices claw their way higher

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Summer weather has arrived, and New England tourists are hungry for a lobster roll or a whole cooked lobster — but they’re going to have to pay up.

Lobster is more expensive than usual this season due to a limited supply, high demand and the reopening of the economy as the nation moves past the coronavirus pandemic. Consumers are headed back to seafood restaurants and markets for the first time in months, and the lobsters there to greet them are at a premium.

Some Maine stores charged $17 or $18 per pound for live lobster in May, and that was about twice the price a year ago. Prices are lingering in the $13 or $14 range this month. Lobster is usually expensive in late spring, but this season has seen prices that are higher than typical.

Visitors to Maine vacation spots like Old Orchard Beach might have been surprised to find that May 2021 lobster prices had risen by $2.70 from May 2020.Getty Images/iStockphoto

The wholesale price for live, 1.25-pound lobsters in the New England market was $9.01 per pound on May 1, business publisher Urner Barry reported. That was about $2.70 per pound more than the previous May 1,