There are many factors that influence the Dungeness crab price per pound in 2020, as well as the Dungeness crab price per pound 2019. Whether you consider the crab type’s seasonality, how it’s affected by the changing ocean climate, or tariffs, it is a multifaceted and delicate system. Dungeness crab per pound changes, but here’s a price grid to provide some context for this popular crustacean.
Dungeness Crab Prices
|Lummi Island Wild
|Tanner’s Alaskan Seafood
How Much Does 1 lb of Dungeness Crab Cost?
In 2019, Alaska’s commercial average ex-vessel price for Dungeness crab was $2.88 per pound. However, the price of Dungeness crab fluctuated in previous years. The crab price dropped $0.16 from $3.04 per pound in 2018. Still, the Dungeness crab market price today showed a sharp increase due to multiple factors.
One significant factor is the effect on the Dungeness crab supply because of the coronavirus pandemic. California, Washington, and Oregon fishers are major producers of Dungeness crab. Oregon crabbers in particular received an average $3.64 per pound for the 2020 season. Yet, those who jumped into the live market got as much as $6.28 per pound in May. The elevated Dungeness crab price per pound was due to a heightened demand for anything alive while restaurants and fish markets were closed.
The price for 1 lb Dungeness crab fluctuates throughout the season. The season begins in mid-November and it technically lasts until July. However, the peak season for Dungeness crab are the winter months. During the first few months of 2020, the set price was between $5 and $7. The Dungeness crab market price today continues to incrementally rise like it does most years, with prices capable of reaching as much as $50 per pound at the end of the season. The Dungeness crab cost per pound changes, so it’s important to buy when it’s widely available.
When is the Best Time to Buy Dungeness Crab?
The harvest is fully active and produces high amounts of Dungeness crab in the winter months. For that reason, retail prices in the winter are lower than any other point in the season. It is why supermarkets often advertise Dungeness crab during major winter holidays before production dips and the Dungeness crab price per pound predictably rises.
However, the “best time” to buy Dungeness crab is not as obvious as perhaps a decade ago. A major influencer on the Dungeness crab market price today is changes to the climate. While the Pacific Ocean is home to these crabs, increasing acidity threatens the crab. The lower pH levels along the U.S. West Coast causes the shells of Dungeness crabs to dissolve. It is a significant concern that scientists thought would not progress so rapidly, and it is an issue that can notably reshape the West Coast fishing industry.
As the viability of Dungeness crab threatens the supply, in turn affecting the Dungeness crab market price today, so do tariffs. In February 2020, Dungeness crab was among the seafood products exempted from import tariffs. The tariffs were part of the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. The result of the tariffs was that companies internationally raised their seafood prices to remain competitive, which resulted in a loss of customers and business.
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