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Crawfish prices seeing domino effect from gas price increases
BATON ROUGE - As gas prices continue to increase, so is the cost of crawfish. A couple of different factors determine how much customers will pay.
“It goes from the farm to me to the table,” said Von Raybon, the owner of Pit-N-Peel BBQ and Seafood.
You can buy crawfish by the pound at Pit-N-Peel, but before the seafood makes it to the table, Raybon has to pick them up.
“I buy from Anders Farms, then I have a few other farmers I pick up from,” Raybon said.
By picking up the crawfish himself, the restaurant owner says he's cutting out the middleman to keep the costs down.
“I do buy directly from the farmer, so I don't try to add any extra cushion into my prices like other places,” he said.
But with gas prices costing more than usual, it's costing a lot more to get the crawfish from the farmer to the table.
“So, it's over double the cost right now. I travel four hours to pick up crawfish, and if I'm traveling at $5 a gallon in diesel, I gotta spread that into the cost of the product in order for me to survive,” he explained.
But it's more than just a rise in gas prices giving Raybon a run for his money.
"We are experiencing some difficulty with the availability of crawfish as well as dealing with molts," Raybon said. "This weather is starting to change. It's hot. It's cold. It's raining, so we're starting to see some dead-loss issues, and it's affecting some of the availability, which also affects the price."
Some Baton Rouge residents say they're willing to spend the extra money because the crawly creatures are worth it.
“It's just the sort of thing about being in south Louisiana. You gotta do it. You take the gas prices as they come but you buy the crawfish regardless of the season,” customer Trey Poche said.
Several seafood markets told me they do expect the cost of crawfish to increase as the season continues.
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