Down we go Again

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Venezuelan jumbo lump dropped again below the $20 mark this week. The price of fresh HPP Venezuelan jumbo lump was only able to stay above $20 for just two weeks. Yes, there is still quite a bit of volume being shipped from Maracaibo each week, but this year feels much different than last spring. What is missing from the demand equation is the retail trade.

Last year, retail and big box stores found they could sell high-priced seafood items (fresh & pasteurized jumbo and lump crabmeat, snow crab, king crab, etc.) that they had previously shied away from. During the pandemic, people became accustomed to going to these retail stores, buying these expensive seafood items, and bringing them back to cook at home since most were not going out to restaurants at the time. This year, the American consumer is not nearly as flush with cash, and seafood sales at retail counters are down, in some instances, way down from last year.

Inflation is running hot (core CPI print last week was 8.3%), food and fuel prices are at all-time highs, and the consumer is not in the mood to buy what they feel is expensive seafood with their weekly groceries. It does seem that the foodservice industry is holding up well. Still, since the retail side is faltering, seafood prices, in general, are falling across the spectrum and eventually will return (within the next 6 months) to their traditional “normal” price ranges. (Full Article)

Prices are subject to change.