A week into the snow crab fishing season, processors in Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on Friday agreed to a temporary dock price of $2.25/lb to $2.50/lb. Catchment of water in fishing vessels.
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Information emanating from Boston, the center of the market, reports a price drop of more than half in the past year.
Five to eight ounce crab sections are now trading between US$5.75/lb and $6/lb, up from US$16/lb in January 2022.
“There’s more inventory on the market now than we thought, says Jean-Paul Gagne, Director General of the Quebec Fisheries Industry Association (AQIP). In Florida, not too long ago, they were selling 2021 crabs. Boston has a lot of crab in stock, it’s gone, and they’re storing it in Chicago.” Gotta keep it. We’ve never seen it!”
At the start of the 2022 season, snow crab prices in Atlantic Canada ranged from $8.25-8.75/lb, then rose to $7.50/lb and $6/lb.
“Last year, we had a disastrous season for processing companies, and it doesn’t look like we’ll be operating in deficit for the second year in a row,” argues Mr. Gagne. “There’s not only a question of causing a deficit, but banks are beginning to be cautious.
The provisional price will be maintained throughout the season and adjusted upwards at the end of the season, if market conditions allow and according to the capacity of each buyer, Gilles Thériault, president of the association, notes for his part. New Brunswick Crab Processors.
“However, if the market falls further, the price may be revised down during the season. We don’t think so, we don’t want to, but we are reducing the risk,” he said.
For his part, Marc-Olivier des Îles-de-la-Madeleine’s captain, Marco Turbide, promises to put his cages back this spring.
“Expecting a price of only two or three dollars a pound doesn’t give ambition, he comments. It’s not fun. For a heavily indebted fisherman like me, we can’t expect to make a profit in 2023 because of the significant loss from crab last year. If we agree to $4/lb, I’m very I’ll be happy!”
Hélène Fauteux/QMI Agency
Cape Adele captain Marcel Cormier admits that last year’s landings of crab were overpriced, due to a slump in demand.
“That’s why there’s some left over,” he said. That’s what happens. But even if the price of crab falls, it will not reduce the cost of fuel, fuel, food and commodities. It won’t be JoJo!”
The snow crab fishing season should begin on March 29 in the 17th section of the St. Lawrence Estuary, and then on the Gulf and North Coast in the following days.
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