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Snow crab prices on the rise; work to begin this fall on pricing formula similar to lobster/halibut

From a record high of $16.80/lb-17.05/lb US in mid-January for 5-8-ounce wholesale snow crab clusters from Newfoundland and Labrador to $7.15/lb-$7.40/lb US in September, market prices dropped like a rock. But prices are indeed coming around, with Urner Barry reporting prices late last week rising to $7.90/lb-$8.15/lb US.

Newfoundland and Labrador's snow crab fishery is Canada's largest, with a landed value this year of $758 million — 21% more than last year's landed value of $624 million, and more than all other commercial fisheries combined. Port de Grave.

Undercurrent, a U.S.-based seafood news organization, reported Friday that Clearwater’s decision to hold onto its snow crab inventories when the market was low instead of selling at a loss was "astute" as prices are recovering.

The CEO of Premium Brands, which owns half of Nova Scotia-based Clearwater Seafoods, was quoted as saying he believes inflation in the States has peaked, which should mean more good news for the snow crab price.

A run on Canadian snow crab began in October soon after news broke of the shutdown of the Alaskan fisheries, with "lots of ordering going on." SEA-NL posted about it here: Phones of U.S. wholesales 'ringing off hook' with buyers for Canadian snow crab


The recent review of this province's government-regulated fish-pricing system recommended that discussions begin this fall/winter on a formula for setting the snow crab price — similar to formulas in place for the lobster, halibut, and lump fish fisheries.

It's expected a formula could be in place for the 2023 season.

The most recent halibut price for Oct. 9-15 was $7.51/lb, which enterprise owners in this province complain is far below the mainland price in provinces like Nova Scotia.

Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is a professional, non-profit organization serving as the distinct voice for licensed, independent owner-operator inshore fish harvesters. You can read more about SEA-NL, and join us here.

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