Over the last month, the flooding around Lake Maracaibo provided the perfect cover for Venezuelan producers to raise their prices by 33% on jumbo in just the previous two weeks. They were legitimately producing less meat, but they held back on selling it until Christmas demand kicked in fully. Fresh Venezuelan HPP jumbo lump is now selling in the upper $20’s a pound. Fresh lump in the upper teens.
All the plants around the Lake are closed now and will reopen sometime in the first week of January. The question is, how much “demand destruction” will occur this late December with the surge in pricing? January is notoriously slow, and when production from the Lake comes back online, the “shoe will be on the other foot”. It will be the “market” dictating prices, not the crabmeat producers themselves. Pasteurized meat is dollars less expensive than Venezuelan fresh for the first time in a couple of years.
Prices are subject to change.