The price of large Dungeness crab increased twice within one day and reached as high as CNY 110/jin (1 jin=0.5 kilogram; $31.92/kg in some regions.)
As statistics from Aug. 5 show live Dungeness, crab are sold at about CNY 110/jin in both Beijing and Guangzhou. The prices even exceed CNY 110/jin in some second-tier cities. The price increase has lasted more than one month and they have risen to such a high level that Dungeness crab are even more expensive than Boston lobsters, one importer joked.
Wholesale crab prices have been rising since the beginning of July. They were priced at about CNY 60/jin back then but price grew reach CNY 110/jin on 80% to Aug. 4. And it seems that the price increase will continue. Dungeness prices are close in Beijing and Guangzhou.
The small ones (about 1.2 Jin to 1.4 Jin each are at CNY 103/jin) sold to CNY 106/jin while the large ones (about 1.4 Jin to 2 jin each are CNY 106/jin to) at CNY 110/jin. But their prices are lower in Shanghai. The small ones are priced at CNY 95 /jin to CNY 100/jin while the large ones are at CNY 98/jin to CNY 103/jin.
But these crab are more expensive, about CNY 2/jin to 3/jin higher in China s second-tier and third-tier cities. “Distributors in most inland cities have to buy from the three large cities because there are no direct flights or local demand is low. This results in higher cost for these distributors.
For example, the cost of large Dungeness crab has exceeded CNY 110/jin for distributors in Sanya or Hainan if they purchase crabs from Beijing.
Dungeness crab is mostly consumed by foodies in southern China who prefer the large ones weighing between 1.4 Jin to 2 Jin each. Thus, the large ones are priced higher and there is a serious shortage. For example, around 2-jin Dungeness crab sell best in Guangzhou and its neighboring cities and their prices are also very high. These sizes of crab can bring higher profits to distributors, so many like to sell crab at such sizes. But now only the lucky ones can get large Dungeness crab.
In Beijing, importers purchase price has reached CNY “100/jin now and it is still increasing, said one local importer. The increase is a result of overseas suppliers increasing prices said another, distributor. However, the suppliers have no explanation as to the reason for the price increases.
Though it’s now summer vacation in China, there is little change to its overall demand. The price increases abroad are likely related to the trade war between the US and China and the reduction in crab supply. It is barely possible for American suppliers to sell Dungeness crab to China now, but the supply from Canada can hardly meet market demand.
Though fishermen are allowed to catch Dungeness crab in Canada year-round, the harvest is far from satisfactory due to the influence of environmental factors over the past two years. Scarce supplies have naturally led to price increases.
Since the beginning of this trade war China door has been closed to s most American seafood. Only some Boston lobsters can enter China with health and quality certificates issued by Canada. So far, it seems that no American Dungeness crab is able to do so. Tariffs and customs higher sampling ratio are the “main reasons for the great difficulties in American crab being exported to China. The tariffs have risen by 25% on American seafood, including Dungeness crab, since July 6.
Furthermore, it is very difficult to tell how long it will take to go through customs sampling. China ‘s importers are’ very concerned that sampling delays will lead to higher crab loss and greater risks, so many have changed from American Dungeness crab to the Canadian ones for their imported supplies. Though Chinese importers have adapted and found substitutes for much of American seafood in Canada, a reduction in seafood supply is inevitable and importers have no choice but to accept cost increases.
Another factor for this price increase is the depreciation of China s currency. Its importers buy “Dungeness crab in either US dollars or Canadian dollars, so any change to exchange rates directly influences their cost and such effects are most obvious when importing such high-value seafood products.
China imports seafood every week and exchange rates change on a daily basis. Such change will likely increase costs and affect importers decisions. Importers try to cut “their risks in different ways when there are uncertainties regarding market prospect and future exchange rates.
Although the prices continue to rise, some restaurants and consumers have stopped buying Dungeness crab due to wholesale prices as high as CNY 110/jin.
Reasonable prices, profits and, marketing strategies are of great importance for the market ‘s long-term development prices are the most fundamental; factor when most consumers make purchasing decisions.