Mudbugs could buck inflation trend this year

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Photo credit Jenniveve84/Getty

Everything has gotten more expensive lately, but crawfish looks to be bucking that trend. Despite overall inflation hitting 7% year-to-year in December, prices for a pound of live mudbugs could end up staying flat, or even being lower than in recent years.

That’s all due to that crazy hot December the state just endured. While we may have been sweating it, the crawfish loved it, and this year’s crop is looking beautiful.

“In years past we’ve had some pretty crazy freezes and that set back our farmers,” Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Executive Director Samantha Carroll told WWL.

Carroll explained this hot weather has kept the crawfish eating and helped grow rice in the beds that fuel the crop’s non-wild growth. Because of that, we’re already seeing boil-worthy bugs available for purchase.

“I boiled my first bag of crawfish at the beginning of December. Highly unlikely and you’ve never really done that before but they were available and we did it,” said Carroll who added that this upcoming cold front shouldn’t really impact the season much.

Another factor helping out this year’s prices? The nature of this inflation. While the average is 7%, that number is being driven in large part by huge surges for very specific items, many of which don’t impact the crawfish industry as much as other food producers.

“From what I am understanding from some of our crawfish farmers, the only price hike they are seeing, besides the fuel obviously, is the bait,” said Carroll. “Bait has gone up about… you know it started at 20 cents and now it's about 70 cents.”

A survey of local sellers found prices for live crawfish as low as $3 dollars a pound, but averaging about $3.50 a pound. Boiled crawfish seems to be going at about $4.50 a pound.