EP 663 | AIRED 10/23/2023
Global Dungeness Crab Update: Bumper Harvest, Prices 10-Year Low, Active Consumer Demand
Oct 23rd, 2023 - This year's global Dungeness Crab harvest is poised to set new records, potentially reaching an astounding One-Hundred-Million pounds, (or up to a 50% increase from last year's figures).
While Alaska and Canada are still in their fall/winter Dungeness fisheries, the final numbers for 2023 won't be available until 2024 when Canada completes its tally.
In contrast, the fisheries in Washington, Oregon, and California, (which closed around the end of summer), emerged as outstanding performers this year, yielding catches totaling almost 80 million pounds — an impressive 80 percent surge compared to the previous year.
Pending Crab quality testing results and safe whale passage in California, that fishery might commence in late November, with Oregon and Washington following suit in late December.
Last year, all three fisheries experienced delays, with California and Oregon opening in January and Washington postponing until February.
Despite the high abundance of Crab this year, the ex-vessel price per pound hit a 10-year low at the mid $2.00 range.
However, a market recovery made an appearance as ex-vessel prices climbed to $5.00 per pound in the summer.
Currently, Frozen Clusters are priced between $8.15 to $8.65 per pound in North American markets, up from the $6 to $7 range observed in February, according to Comtell.
UB Commentary notes that the market has moved higher on ocean-run clusters, despite a barely adequate supply and a moderate to active demand.
The future harvest outlook for 2024 remains uncertain, but if another bumper crop occurs, it could lead to another year of favorable pricing amid active consumer demand.
Additionally, Dungeness Crab maintains a significant export market in China.
It is not too early to be planning your Dungeness requirements so if you are looking at running a program for this, please feel free to reach out to us at Tradex Foods.
Keep tuned into our weekly reports as we closely monitor season openings for all Dungeness Crab fisheries from Alaska to California.
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