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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 671 | AIRED 12/18/2023

Holiday Season Market Update: Dungeness Crab Availability, Preparations for Chinese New Year Plant Closures and the 2024 Lenten Season

Dec 18th, 2023 - This episode, airing a week before Christmas, is our last video for 2023 before the holiday break, and we will be back Monday January 8th, 2024. You can continue to get our industry updates on LinkedIn, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, and Threads, and we will continue to send email updates over the break.

With that, here is the seafood news you need to know until after the New Year.

If you are looking for live Dungeness Crab this holiday season, it will need to be sourced from Oregon or British Columbia Canada.

The Oregon season opened December 16 at 9am from Cape Foulweather southward to the Oregon/California border. Cape Foulweather to the Oregon/Washington border will remain delayed for additional meat recovery testing. In British Columbia Canada, the Dungeness fishery is fished all year round.

Washington and California fisheries will be delayed to around December 30th due to insufficient meat recovery yields for Washington and whale entanglement risk in California.

Dungeness Crab, CNY, LENT

For Alaska, the fall Dungeness fishery just closed last month and although a winter fishery technically exists, fishing efforts are very low.

Global Dungeness Crab Harvest last season from Alaska to California is set to reach an astounding hundred million pounds.

Moving over to China, it's hard to believe that at this time last year, we were reporting on China’s COVID situation where China abruptly ended its Zero-COVID policy removing many restrictions, leading to widespread COVID-19 infections affecting almost half the nation. This outbreak significantly disrupted factory operations, causing major production delays.


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This year, preparations now should be focused around Chinese New Year which starts on February 10th, 2024.

Some processing plants are said to start their shutdowns as early as this week or next instead of the typical 2-weeks before. Plants will typically reopen a week to 10 days after Chinese New Year.

In the midst of Chinese New Year celebrations, the Lenten season is fast approaching and you'll want to be stocked up for all of your seafood requirements.

Dungeness Crab, CNY, LENT

Lent, starting after Fat Tuesday and ending before Easter, will run from February 14th to March 28th in 2024. During this period, the demand for seafood significantly increases as fish and other seafood items become preferred choices over other meats.

Sales during Lent have been reported to increase up to 20 percent over the 40 Days before Lent, and consumers typically purchase more seafood for the week instead of just on Fish Fridays.

Our recommendation is to speak to your Tradex Foods representative for all your seafood requirements for before Chinese New Year closures and for Lent.

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