It may never seem like a bad time to have a good ole South Louisiana crawfish boil, but if you plan on doing it this time of year, you may have to dig a little bit deeper into those wallets.
Business owners we talked to say those price jumps may be related to several things. For instance, big events like the Super Bowl or Mardi Gras tend to drive demand higher than the actual supply. More interestingly, the fluctuations in our weather, from cold spells to milder winter days to even the hurricane season, can often play a big role as well.
"Hurricanes are never good in any aspect, but especially with the crawfish because it brings in a lot of salt water and these crustaceans particularly, they like fresh water so that hurts them. It killed off a good bit of them," explained Shea Zaunbrecher, co-owner of Zaddy'z Crawfish. "This is the first year I've ever seen in my years of crawfish season, my dad's been in the business for 38 years, and he's never seen the price change in the middle of the week. So the weather, obviously when we got that cold spell the catch dropped so low that the price went up 50 cents on a Thursday."
Danny Comb, supervisor at Chez Francois Seafood, added, "Customers demand higher because of the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras and all that."
So, we may have to wait a little while longer to see prices that are more consistent and a little bit lower. But the good news is that the people we talked to said they had a pretty good feeling that a good crawfish season is ahead.
Keep an eye out for KATC's Crawdaq Index, which returns next week. It's our eighth year tracking crawfish prices in Lafayette. Get the latest prices every Thursday night at 10:00 on KATC. You can also find those numbers at katc.com/crawdaq.
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