Crawfish prices falling slowly as the SBA offers help

As Easter weekend nears, Louisiana’s favorite delicacy is getting cheaper, albeit slowly.

This week, average boiled crawfish prices dropped about 15 cents per pound. 

Live crawfish are averaging roughly $4.44 a pound, while boiled crawfish are fetching nearly $7 a pound, according to The Crawfish App, which tracks live and boiled crawfish prices from more than 1,600 businesses across the South. 

Retailers get the credit for lowering their prices, according to the app’s co-founder Laney King, as the docks did not alter their prices this week. 

Last week, King warned that consumers should not expect prices to decrease to “normal levels” this year. While crawfish supply is up compared to the start of the season, almost half of Louisiana’s crawfish ponds were devastated by the drought, so production will not reach normal levels. The LSU AgCenter’s preliminary estimate of crop loss and damage to Louisiana’s crawfish industry is nearly $140 million.

Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry issued a disaster declaration in early March for the state’s crawfish industry, which unlocks certain federal aid for farmers. The U.S. Small Business Administration on Thursday also extended aid to crawfish farmers with low-interest disaster loans. Approximately 365,000 crawfish acres across Louisiana have been affected by the conditions of saltwater intrusion, drought and high temperatures, according to the federal agency. 

Earlier this year, Business Report traveled to one of the sources of Louisiana’s beloved crawfish—Four Oaks Farms in Morganza—to hear how crawfish farmers were grappling with low yields. See more of that story in this episode of of Business Report’s multimedia series, Bottom Line.