Prices have leveled off for Venezuelan crabmeat, if you want to call it that, with jumbo lump in the low 40s. Volume arriving into Miami each week is still extremely low. After New Year’s, there is a break in production as all the plants around the lake are closed and have yet to reopen between Christmas and New Year’s. Pasteurized Indonesian crabmeat was widely substituted for fresh Venezuelan during the holidays. The switch to Indonesian used up any excess inventories around the country. So much so that the product is being allocated as we begin the new year.
We know it’s not good news, but the crabs will come back again in Venezuela, and the market will eventually drop to much more affordable levels. We feel that this timeframe will be before the end of February.