Global News

PORTLAND, Maine – Now on the menu in Beijing for Chinese New Year: lots and lots of American lobster.

Exports of U.S. lobster to China have rocketed in the past few years, largely to satisfy the appetites of the communist country’s growing middle class, to whom a steamed, whole crustacean – flown in live from the United States – is not just a festive delicacy and a good-luck symbol but also a mark of prosperity.

And that’s good news for Maine, far and away the nation’s No. 1 lobster state, where the boom has put more money in the pockets of lobstermen and kept shippers and processors busy during the usually slack midwinter months.

For Stephanie Nadeau, owner of The Lobster Co., a wholesaler in Arundel, Maine, the demand has meant 14-hour nights spent stuffing wriggling lobsters into crates so they can reach China in time for the Lunar New…

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