By Allie Doise, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation
Prices have dropped $1.10 per pound to around $3.89 for boiled crawfish, putting prices lower than they were at this time last year. These prices are also expected to drop further throughout the season.
One of the reasons for lower crawfish prices is the quantity of crawfish available.
Bill Pizzolato of Tony’s Seafood in Baton Rouge said the increased number of crawfish has to do with the warm weather so early in the season.
“We’ve seen an unusual supply of crawfish in the last few months,” Bill Pizzolato said. “Crawfish are really starting to perk up because of all the warm weather. We have 75 to 80 degree days and a little cooler nights.”
Ron Harrell, Louisiana Farm Bureau commodity director, said crawfish farmers really do not have a say in setting crawfish prices.
“Typically, producers who sell product in relatively small quantities have limited bargaining power,” Harrell said. “Most farmers do not have the time to take away from their farming operations to secure bids from different buyers.”
In fact, Harrell said buyers may actually have an upper hand when it comes to setting prices.
“Many transactions take place through brokers,” he said. “This means that reliable information about market prices may not be available to the farmer and the buyer could have an advantage in negotiations.”
The number of crawfish available is only expected to increase when wild caught crawfish enter the market.
“Going forward the next couple of months when you see the Atchafalaya Basin come in—it’s going to give us an unusual supply of crawfish,” Pizzolato said.
The expected increase in numbers, means prices are expected to continue dropping throughout the season. It’s possible for prices to dip below $1 per pound when the wild caught crawfish start competing with farm-raised crawfish.