Blue Swimming Crab Meat Prices are already at a historical high and China is rising now too!
It’s been a few weeks since production started in Indonesia following their holiday (Ramadan and Lebaran). The blue swimming crab landings increased from 5-10% in July. This puts the plants back on track for their prior figures. In other words, the landings right now are not much different from early June. This is putting further price pressures on the mini (cooking) plants since the demand remains strong. The fisherman can choose more easily who to sell too right now. This type of market condition combined with inventories in the US being relatively low compared to the year prior is keeping pricing high. Few are willing to predict when this will end since it isn’t really clear. The one thing that is for certain, we will continue to have high prices through the remainder of the year with little to no softening occurring before October.
Red Swimming Crab Meat is rising faster than the blue swimming crab right now. Correct, that is not a typo! The price movement on red swimming is occurring from four key areas; reduced US inventories, the historical high gap between the blue and red swimming crab prices, the main fishery has been under moratorium, and many customers are trading down to this economical choice. These factors are putting upward pressure on the pricing of red swimming crab meat. The Chinese season starts this month with early arrivals landing here in late September. The new season’s opening raw material costs will not be known for a couple of weeks so stay tuned.
In Summary, price will remain high for all species for the remainder of the year. Many other non-swimming crab species are high and in short supply so there is still enough consumer demand to support the high prices. Will demand continue if the blue swimming crab prices rise much more is the question. However, Fresh Venezuelan packers will be on conservation starting August 15 until October 15 so we expect an increase in blue (and red swimming crab meat) demand.
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