The Inshore Council and the Crab Negotiating Committee met tonight after the release of the snow crab price to discuss plans moving forward. The facts harvesters face are as follows:
- The current Urner Barry market price is $13.75 USD.
- When negotiations began on March 21, the Urner Barry market price was at $15.75 USD.
- The market has declined $2 USD or 2.50 CAD since negotiations.
- FFAW’s price to the Panel was based on a $14.00-14.25 market; the current market is below that.
- We have been in contact with the person who manages the NL snow crab market information at Urner Barry. They informed us that they are still seeing prices below $13.75, which means that the market will likely decline further.
It was the unanimous decision of the Inshore Council and Negotiating Committee to do as follows:
- Hold off on seeking an immediate reconsideration. The market is still in decline and a reconsideration may result in a lower price.
- To fish and get some crab in the market. The market is currently unsettled, and it will remain so until new crab becomes available, and demand and price can be sorted out.
- To move forward with a price consideration when the market settles and rebounds. Historically, this is the lowest point of the market and that it will settle and rebound by the end of April. This will be monitored closely.
It was also the unanimous decision to keep putting maximum pressure on the provincial government to:
- Allow for a second reconsideration
- To issue more crab processing licenses to companies independent of the large processors
- To allow outside buyers to bring more competition to the province. With outside buyers, the $7.60 price would be the actual minimum and harvesters could seek a better price with multiple buyers.