Last year at this time, fresh Venezuelan HPP Jumbo lump was well under the $20 mark. This year, it’s a very different story. There is so little raw material to pick that 1/3rd of the 22 picking plants around Lake Maracaibo have closed because they cannot afford to stay open and pick so few crabs.
With the uptick in business around the Thanksgiving holiday, it did not take long for the price of crab meat to rise significantly. Adding to the demand for fresh Venezuelan crab meat is the fact that domestic production is grinding to a halt around most of the country as temperatures cool. All we can say, regarding the future, is to expect the unexpected. This year, we have seen crabs disappear when they were not supposed to and show up when they were not expected. So, don’t lose hope. The crabs in Lake Maracaibo did not go anywhere. It is a gigantic lake that is 75 miles across and 130 miles long, and in reality, they only crab a fraction of it.